Ricardo Certification has secured a contract from Metrolinx to serve as the Independent Safety Assessor (ISA) for rail transit evolution across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) in Ontario, Canada.

Ricardo will independently examine the safety documentation of the ‘Go Expansion’ railway upgrade programme during its design phase to be in line with relevant standards.

Teams from Ricardo will evaluate whether Metrolinx and ONxpress Transportation Partners have made relevant safety documentation, including the system definition, system safety plan and safety case.

Evaluations at an early stage are expected to minimise delays as well as expenses related to correction during the construction, deployment and trial phases.

Ricardo certification director Richard Gibney said: “We are delighted to be awarded this important safety role by Metrolinx.

“This is a complex, multi-faceted programme of works, with new rolling stock, a new traction system and extensive infrastructure upgrades, which must be designed to the highest safety standards.”

GO Transit’s rail network has seven lines, which operate from Toronto’s Union Station. Currently, the network is served by diesel locomotives.

Under the ‘GO Expansion’ rail upgrade programme, modern electric-powered rolling stock will be deployed to facilitate faster and more frequent service.

The new track, signalling, and more than 650km of electrification works will also be conducted under the programme.

This programme is expected to help increase services from 3,500 trains in 2019 to more than 10,000 trains, with services running every 15 minutes.

Additionally, the new fleet is anticipated to reduce operating costs by 50% per kilometre.

This year in February, Metrolinx commenced construction on the Union Station Enhancement Project, involving the creation of new transit infrastructure and enhancement of the station’s southernmost section.