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Increasing diesel trains cited as health risk

Boosting diesel traffic by as many as 400 trains a day on GO Transit’sGeorgetown line will put the health of nearby residents at risk,Toronto’s medical officer of health has told Ontario’s environmentminister.

Boosting diesel traffic by as many as 400 trains a day on GO Transit’s Georgetown line will put the health of nearby residents at risk, Toronto’s medical officer of health has told Ontario’s environment minister.

In one of his strongest stated positions on the issue so far, Dr. David McKeown wrote to John Gerretson, voicing his objections to a Metrolinx plan to use diesel locomotives to expand GO service and provide a new rail link to Pearson Airport.

McKeown wants to see the expansion, planned for 2015, proceed only as an electrified service.

Metrolinx launched a study this summer on converting the line system to electric power, but anticipates the change is at least 15 years away. McKeown said there is increasing evidence that diesel exhaust is associated with lung cancer, and using diesels will result in “increased air pollution and health risk in adjacent communities.”

 
 
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