Is the Union Pearson Express cushy enough to justify its $27 ticket price? What you’ll be shelling out for

Is the Union Pearson Express cushy enough to justify its $27 ticket price? What you’ll be shelling out for

Click to see a larger version. (Image: Giordano Ciampini) Click to see a larger version. (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 

If Metrolinx’s fancy new Union Pearson Express works as advertised upon its expected launch later this year, its trains will whisk passengers from Union Station directly to Pearson Airport in just 25 minutes. The biggest turn-off for most potential riders will be the price: each trip to or from the airport will cost Presto-using adults $19 (or $27.50 without Presto), making the line a luxury reserved for those who can afford to pay for the privilege of getting to their gates without ever setting foot on the 192 Airport Rocket. At a preview event on Monday, a few reporters became some of the first members of the public to take a ride on the UP Express. Were the new train cars and station platforms cushy enough to justify the premium price? Take a closer look at our annotated photos to find out.

1
Each car of every UP Express train has its own engine, a diesel-burning Cummins six-cylinder with 760 horsepower. The trains, built by the Sumitomo Corporation in Japan, are technically capable of speeds up to 145 kilometres per hour, but in practice they’ll average 90.
2
A spokesperson says these Y-shaped columns are supposed to symbolize the “freedom and worry-free” feeling of arriving at Pearson.

3
The wood panelling on the ceiling is meant to evoke the Ontario woodlands.
4
The cheapest way to ride the UP Express will be to use Presto. The card readers are being installed.
Click to see a larger version. (Image: Giordano Ciampini) Click to see a larger version. (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 
5
The train seats have tray tables reminiscent of the ones on airplanes. There are also electrical outlets for laptops, cell phones, hair straighteners, electric toothbrushes, blenders, etc.
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Wall-to-wall carpeting. Pretty sweet.
7
The screens will display flight information and ads for Toronto events.
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The view will be of commercial and industrial lands on either side of the “spur,” a new three-kilometre concrete rail bridge leading into the airport.
9
The overhead compartments were designed specifically to accommodate carry-on luggage, and there are heftier racks elsewhere in the car for bigger bags.
10
The trains will be equipped with Wi-Fi, so no insane roaming fees for international travellers who just want to look up directions to their hotels.