Automated People Mover GTAA

  • Client

    Greater Toronto Airports Authority 

  • Region

    Central Canada

  • City


  • Year Completed


  • Size


  • Sector


  • Sub-Sector

    Transit & Transportation

The Story

The Automated People Mover (APM) is a 1.6-kilometre dual elevated guideway transit system crossing into development areas adjacent to the terminal areas at the Toronto Pearson International Airport.

The APM system consists of three stations – Terminal 1 (T1), Terminal 3 (T3), and Viscount Station, which provide above-ground transportation for up to 4,000 passengers and employees per hour, in each direction, between terminals and parking areas.

The APM, which can be expanded to seven cars, runs along a two-track system and is completely automated and controlled via a central facility. The APM T1 Station was designed and constructed to accommodate for the future UP Express which travels between the airport and Union Station.

EllisDon was responsible for a complete operational solution for the APM including all signals, communications, and connections to the airport systems. The overall system included SCADA, automatic train control, control centre, communications rooms at each station, fire and life safety and automatic platform edge door controls. The system included wiring of the entire system and all associated hardware. To ensure an efficient delivery of the project, EllisDon implemented a thorough testing and commissioning process for the rail system, which was connected to the GTAA’s greater airport master controls system.

A large portion of the construction planning focused on determining how the stations and guideway would fit in the site amongst the terminals, roads, and the Sheraton hotel.

The Viscount Station at the remote parking area required significant design consideration as it houses the drive equipment and control room for the APM.

Furthermore, all construction took place while the airport was operational. EllisDon coordinated with airport authorities to create innovative approaches to scheduling and construction methods that ensured full operation of the airport during construction.

One of the resulting solutions was to work at night and detour traffic onto alternate roads while guideway trusses were erected above the busy six-lane Airport Road.

To construct the terminal stations EllisDon coordinated and oversaw daily operations including the management of material handling, quality assurance and inspections, deliveries and storage around various construction and airport operations. This was especially important when excavating the deep caisson foundations for the guideway structures, which were located in very confined areas between terminals and other structures and roads. Extensive constructability reviews were performed and materials staging was carefully planned to ensure continuity of both construction and airport operations.