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Low roof at Union Station 'not a problem' for electric trains, Metrolinx says

Last Updated Jan 29, 2016 at 1:20 pm EST

A too-low roof at a Union Station shed could delay upgrades to the GO Train system, but Metrolinx says it’s not a problem

The station is in the midst of ongoing renovations and plans to one day electrify the train system and rail could be delayed – or derailed – by the roof, the Globe and Mail reported.

“We don’t see it as a problem at all,” Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins told 680 NEWS on Friday.

“We have the best minds working on a plan. This is an exciting opportunity to electrify our system … it is a challenge we’re prepared for.”

The problem stems from the old steel arches that hold up the roof of the shed behind Union Station, the Globe reported. The shed has been designated as a national historic site, and the roof is too low for Metrolinx to one day move forward with plans to switch from diesel to electric powered trains.

Possible solutions include digging down to make room for the tracks, or raising the arches. But that would lead to a higher price tag on a project that is already over budget.

Queen’s Park will be paying for it, Aikins said, as part of their commitment to electrifying the GO Transit system. The cost has not been determined yet.

The reason electric trains weren’t figured into the original plans, Aikins says, is because the province hadn’t approved electric transit when the plans were being drawn up.

The station will remain open throughout the renovations. However, there’s no timeline on when it will be finished.