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The Ontario government has announced that it is studying the feasibility of using hydrogen fuel electricity to power GO Transit rail and Union-Express trains.

Hydrogen energy could power electric GO Trains


Hailey Montgomery
Digital Reporter

Friday, June 16, 2017, 3:26 PM - The Ontario government has announced that it is studying the feasibility of using hydrogen fuel electricity to power GO Transit rail and Union Pearson Express (UP) trains that are to be converted from using diesel fuel.

Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca announced in Etobicoke on Thursday that the province has begun assessing GO’s Rail Network Electrification Process. 

Electrifying the entire Lakeshore East line and Barrie Line, as well as portions of other lines, is part of Metrolinx’s 10-year Regional Express Rail (RER) project. The $13.5 billion transformation aims to significantly increase trip frequency and diversity for commuters.

Hydrogen fuel cells combine with oxygen to produce energy, heat, and water. They are utilized as cleaner energy alternatives as their only by-product should be water and heat.

GO has been looking into electrifying trains since at least 2009, when they released a year-long Go Transit Electrification Study and subsequently advised Metrolinx’s board of directors to convert the GO Kitchener and Lakeshore corridors beginning with the UP Express.

Since it’s establishment in 1967, GO has relied on diesel fuel.

According to the agency's June 15 news release, the current assessment will explore the environmental impacts of opting for hydrogen fuel cells in lieu of overhead wires to conduct electricity.

Per a June 14 public meeting notice, electrified GO trains will run every 15 minutes, all day, by 2025 in the most heavily traveled sections of the GO network.

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