Tuesday, July 9, 2013

GO train and passengers caught in flash floods due to severe thunderstorms hammering west/central Toronto

5pm July 9 2013

Photos courtesy of D. Fraser

8 PM JULY 8 2013

Photo via @EatThatQuestion on Twitter

It's believed this is a Richmond Hill train that runs parallel to the 404/Don River but GO Transit says severe flooding is affecting the Lakeshore West trains trying to pass through Mimco in Toronto's west end and that boats have been deployed to rescue passengers. I've tried to reach the photographer to get the exact location. This picture has gone viral around the world so I imagine his Twitter account is on fire.

More storm photos here.

Queen subway is partially submerged apparently.

Out here at home, near Bomanville, we have light rain as of 8:30 pm. I called my parents who live near the Etobicoke border between Rob Ford's homeland and the former city of York. My parents had the mind to turn the cellphone on as they're without power. Their street is a river.

My mom, being Eastern European, has plenty of bottled water on hand and a year's supply of toilet paper in her linen closet. They'll be all right.

Here's a view from inside a GO train stuck near Bayview and Pottery Road (near the Don River/DVP).

Photo from @sukminc

This is scary stuff. More storms are on the way. I hope everyone gets out safely. 

As of 9:19 pm, The Toronto Police Marine Unit is evacuating passengers on the Richmond Hill train that was submerged and GO Transit says trains will terminate at Oriole. 

Here's some pics taken from passengers inside the train. From @juliakristine_

and @sukminc

Photo from @SimonOstler

I can tell you this, because I can only deal with stress and anxiety with humor, if I were there, I'd be the only one singing, "Row, row, row your train ..." Then I'd ask everyone to join in.


Bicky said...

Holy crap on a cracker! I left at 4pm and made it home fine. But the sights I'm seeing on CP24 are just unbelievable.

Stay safe, everyone!

George said...

I escaped from Toronto on the last train before the storm happened.

All I can say is that service tomorrow morning is screwed so get thee to the station early to see what's happening. Don't depend on the website because it'll be trashed from all the hits tomorrow morning.

Only rain so far in Oakville barely made the road wet.

Anonymous said...

I'd be singing along with you CJ!

What I don't understand is why GO Transit felt it was better to let these people sit in the train rather than escort them off at the first sign of trouble?!

Bicky said...

Sounds like GO Transit wasn't sure how to handle this as it's a unique situation. Watching the rescue on CP24 now.

Anonymous said...

Three of their major corridors run alongside water ways. You'd think Metrolinx would have a bloody plan. These people (like my wife) shouldn't have been left to sit on the train while it filled with water.
I lost contact with her after her BlackBerry battery died. It's after 10 and she's no where to be find. I'm sure she's fine but I'm very angry.

Anonymous said...


C.J. Smith said...

Hi there
GO is reporting everyone on the submerged RH train has been safely evacuated. I'm sure you will hear from her soon and I am positive you'll be able to go pick her up from a location once it's determined where people will be shuttled to.
I'm just glad everyone is okay.

Dan-1 said...

It's the 5:30pm Richmond Hill train from Union, aka GO 835, stuck in the flooded Don Valley near Pottery Road. The CN RTC had a foreman check part of that line early on due to the reports of high water, which was only to the tops of the rails at the time. Looks like it got worse.

Later Richmond Hill trains were rerouted on another line, but that one sat "submerged" and fully loaded for hours before evacuation began. People were jumping off and trying to swim their way off before the rescue efforts began.

Anonymous said...

Some of the pictures people took from inside the train show people with their feet on the seats. I guess we can allow it . . . just this once.

C.J. Smith said...


Jenn Jilks said...

I'd love to hear you singing! I'd do the same thing.

Unknown said...

There is going to be a LOT of costs going into refurbishing those trains.
They'll have to take out ALL carpet, ALL seats that were submerged, rip open the walls, remove any cellulose insulation, then bleach the insides.
NOT TO MENTION replace a lot of electrical wires and probably some door motors etc.
Gonna cost GO a lot of money. They may have to divert some money from Capital budget to refurbishment budget.

Lori said...

Anonymous at 7:06am I agree with you.

Anonymous said...

Anonymus @ 10:19

You are right. Everyone says that there will be more events like this in the future. I think instead of spending $50 Bn over the next 25 years to trap more people when this happens, the $ should be spent to improve the infrastructure to handle the current problems we face (including improving roads and transit and storm drains, etc)

Anonymous said...

I was on that train yesterday and there were no communications from officials and we were hearing things from the news and also from different coaches.

The rafts were a total joke, moving 4-6 people at a time while where were 1900 of us on the train.

We were not rescued, we walked off the train after the water level went down. They stopped the train at first because they said there was flooding, there were no water on the tracks from what we can see and took them a good 30min to check the train and start moving back to Union,train moved for at most 1min and stopped and we were told we were stranded. the water had already covered the tracks by the time we were heading back to Union.

We saw all the rescuers standing at the edge and no one helped us here. We had no food, no water, no power.

Our coach lost all power for the last hour and half. People were sitting in pitch black with no news on when we were going to get out.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if get reimbursed for wet gucci bag and pair of shoes? Better yet I could include free snake =)

Unknown said...

Anon July 9, 2013 at 5:59 PM
I can understand your frustration and anger. HOWEVER, what you probably didn't see, was the waters rising ahead of the train, when they stopped it.
This had never happened in Toronto before. The city had NEVER gotten 1 mm rain per minute for 90 minutes before. The city was just not prepared for it. How could they be?

The rescuers did what they could, with the small amount of time, and man power they had. I read that people who were OFF DUTY, AT HOME, came in, and VOLUNTEERED their time to help rescue you and your train mates. Did you thank them, or did you tell them off?

Anonymous said...

Everything would have been a lot different had the water risen into the second level and above. Then heads would be rolling for how long it took to "rescue" the train.

Maybe including inflatable life rafts in each of the coaches isn't such a bad investment...

Anonymous said...

Toronto has never had a locust swarm but I guess by the logic of some commenters GO Transit should be prepared for it nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

AllanVS July 9, 2013 at 8:56 PM

Well, it would have been much better if we had some sort of communication on that train. We found out that we were going to Oriole station not from go train officials but from CP24.

That train should not have left Union to begin with. It's not the first time that the Richmond Hill line was flooded on the tracks and it won't be the last. They had warning and chose to ignore it and resulted to the rest of us been stranded on the train for 7.5 hours.

At one point we were worried that the train was going to tip over. It was obviously tilting to one side.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me if there is parking available at Oriole station for the 8:15 Go train? And/or York Mills parking lots?