Case Studies

Toronto Union Station’s John St. Tower

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Engineers: Morrison Hershfield
Owner/Operator:  Toronto Terminals Railway

John Street Tower
John Street Tower

Serving 200,000 passengers a day, Toronto’s Union Station is the busiest passenger transportation facility in Canada. Expansion plans for the Union Station Rail Corridor call for tracks to be placed immediately adjacent to what is known as the John Street Tower, which is an unassuming, but historically significant command & control facility. The Tower contains the large banks of electrical switches, relays, and the other equipment required to operate the track switches in the rail corridor between Union Station and Bathurst Yard. HGC Engineering was asked to assess the railway vibration impacting the Control Tower, both now and after expansion.

Currently, the rail corridor in the vicinity of the Tower is used almost exclusively by GO trains and other passenger trains. The new B track is predominantly intended to carry new Airport Light Rail (ALR) trains, traveling to and from Pearson International Airport. Vibration measurements were conducted on site to establish the current impact of the rail lines on the tower and to provide input data for a dynamic finite element analysis model. This model was then used to select and evaluate the performance of proposed mitigation measures. Because the new track will be very close to the Tower, and to the equipment in the tower, it was decided that the new B track will be constructed on a vibration isolated track bed which HGC Engineering designed.


Acoustical Engineering Services Included:

  • Ground-Borne Vibration Measurement and Analysis
  • Dynamic Finite Element Analysis





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