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Ontario has begun an environmental assessment of the proposed electrification of GO Transit's rail network, Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca announced late last week. The process involves evaluating the environmental impacts of converting core segments of the GO rail network — including the Union Pearson Express Line — from diesel to electric. The assessment marks a critical step toward the process of selecting a vendor to electrify the system, according to an Ontario Ministry of Transportation press release."With this program, we are moving forward with one of the largest and most complex rail upgrades in the world," said Metrolinx President and Chief Executive Officer John Jensen. "This GO rail transformation will bring residents of the greater Toronto and Hamilton area a faster and more efficient way to travel."Ontario has committed CA$13.5 billion to implement the GO Regional Express Rail project, which includes the electrification work. In tandem with the environmental assessment, Ontario transportation officials are studying the potential use of hydrogen fuel cells as an alternative technology for GO Transit rail service. As part of the study, province officials will hold a symposium this fall on hydrogen fuel cell technology for rail.
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