Here in Toronto, a company called Metrolinx is proposing to build the largest diesel train corridor on the planet, about five mintues walk away from our house.
It's a little bonkers to me to hear energy folks talking about diesel and coal as viable options for energy production. According to a posting from a neighbourhood organization that's trying to shift the proposal from 500 new diesel trains running through our communities a day to electric trains modeling the wave of the future, diesel fumes -
"produce a chemical soup of toxic air contaminants which have been implicated in a host of illnesses to which children are especially vulnerable, including cancer, respiratory problems, reproductive and developmental disorders. There are 76 schools and 96 daycare centres within a kilometre of the tracks.
The toxins in diesel fumes are carried on the wind for up to 200 miles from source. Hundreds of diesel trains running through the heart of west Toronto will add significantly to greenhouse gases and pollution in the entire GTA and beyond."
I wrote this letter. You could too, if you read this. Do it soon tho - they close the public poll tomorrow, i just found out!!
Dear folks at Metrolinx -
It is vitally important that you DO NOT USE DIESEL TRAINS in the proposed Union Station to Georgetown rail corridor. The quality of life of the people who live and work along the corridor, and the quality of life of downtown Toronto itself, will be severely impacted by the air pollution caused by diesel fumes and by the noise pollution caused by the 500 trains passing by.
We live in a wonderful city, filled to the brim with potential and dynamism. There is a challenge presented in this situation that I believe Metrolinx is more than able to meet. In this era of technology and innovation, there are very few reasons to contribute to local and global pollution. The challenge of developing a viable plan that considers long-term impact on the health and well-being of citizens and communities is well within the grasp of Metrolinx as a company, and our city as a whole. We live in an incredibly wealthy and privileged time and area of the world - with all the resources at our disposal, surely Metrolinx can come up with a cleaner, more innovative, safer solution to the transit crisis in our city than the damaging proposal it has presented.
Please shift the proposed plan away from using diesel trains on the Union Station to Georgetown rail corridor. Please take up the challenge, be innovative, take a crucially necessary long-view and rethink, reframe your solution to one that doesn't just attempt to alleviate a situation, but actually contributes in multifaceted ways to the well-being of our city, citizens and communities.
I believe that a switch to electric trains, while not a perfect solution, is a better idea than polluting our neighbourhoods with the toxic soup created by diesel fumes. As an early childhood educator, i am aware of the 76 schools and 96 day-cares that lay within only a kilometre of the tracks, all which would be affected by the dangerously impacted air quality caused by the fumes of the trains. As someone who lives five minutes walking distance away from the tracks myself, i know that the air my family and neighbours breathe would be dangerously impacted by the fumes of the trains.
I want our city to thrive, the children of Toronto to grow up healthy and intelligent, with true models of sustainability and innovative thinking contributing to their vibrant environment. With this in mind, I ask you to consider a long view, towards the future - be one of those models admired by the children I spend time with everyday - and move away from the polluting and unsustainable proposal for diesel trains and towards electric trains along the Union Station to Georgetown rail corridor.
Yours very sincerely - Noah Kenneally
To get more info, go to www.cleantrain.ca.
photos found on the internet.