Aecon team frontrunner for Toronto rail line PPP

A preferred bidder for a rail line linking downtown Toronto to an international airport has been selected. The project is expected to reach financial close in early 2012.

A consortium headed by public-private partnership (PPP) mainstay Aecon Group has been named preferred bidder in a three-kilometre rail line that will link downtown Toronto to the Toronto Pearson International Airport.

A statement from Infrastructure Ontario (IO), a government agency assigned with managing PPP activity for the region, said the consortium, named AirLINX Transit Partners, will begin negotiating the proposed contract with IO and Metrolinx. The latter is the Ontario government agency charged with overseeing transportation activity in the Toronto-Hamilton area. Metrolinx will own and operate the rail line.

The total cost of the project is expected to be announced after the completion of commercial and financial close, which is set to take place in early 2012.

Construction on the rail line should begin in spring of 2012 and is set to be completed in 2015. The rail is expected to be operational for the TOR2015 Pan/Parapan American Games and has been touted for its capability to eliminate 1.2 million car trips in its first year of operation.

In addition to Aecon, the AirLINX consortium is comprised of Dufferin Construction Company, according to the statement. Dufferin is a massive civil engineering company in Canada.