Increased weekly GO train service coming to Kitchener line

Metrolinx will add more weekday rush hour GO train service along the Kitchener line. Trains will also be added outside of rush-hour along the line. While the news is welcome, some critics say the government needs to address a timeline for when there will be two-way, all-day GO service.

NDP says government needs to announce timeline for two-way, all-day service

A GO Train.
Riders travelling to Kitchener from Union Station in the afternoon are getting more options after the Ontario government announced increased service to Kitchener in the afternoons and evenings. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

New GO train service will bring more trains to Kitchener during the day, Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney announced in Toronto Thursday morning. 

There will now be 50 new weekly train trips on the Kitchener line, "bringing late-night weekday service," a release said. The changes take effect Aug. 31.

The announcement came as part of a broader increase in GO Train service across the GO Network.

"We will add 65 new and extended train trips on the Kitchener line, as we work towards two way, all day service in cities and towns between Kitchener and Toronto, " said Kinga Surma, Associate Minister of Transportation said in a press announcement Thursday. 

The new changes mean that some existing train service will now extend to Kitchener as a final destination, instead of stopping in Bramalea as most previous trains did in the evenings. This includes the 12:53 p.m. westbound train from Union and a new 9:53 p.m. train from Union. 

Other changes include increased service from Kitchener, including: 

  • The 9 a.m. eastbound train from Mount Pleasant GO to Union Station will now begin in Kitchener starting at 7:57 a.m.
  • The 3:52 p.m. eastbound train from Mount Pleasant GO to Union Station will now leave from Kitchener at 2:57 p.m.
  • A new 8:57 p.m. train will leave from Kitchener GO and make all stops to Union Station.

A new express train option to Bramalea, making all station stops to Kitchener GO will leave Toronto at 6 p.m. each day, cutting the commute of those travelling to Kitchener by 20 minutes. 

For commuters travelling to Bloor, Weston, Etobicoke North or Malton GO station, a new 5:45 p.m. westbound train will be available.

The government announced they are also adding an afternoon train, making all station stops to Bramalea GO, as well as hourly evening train service to and from Bramalea GO, with the last train from Bramalea GO to Union Station leaving at 10:51 p.m. 

The last train going from Union Station to Bramalea GO will leave at 10:53 p.m. Some trips will go as far as Mount Pleasant.

There will also be a new 10:53 p.m.train that will go from Union station making all stops to Guelph Central GO.

Some existing trips along the Kitchener line, will now extend all the way to Kitchener, including afternoon trips like the 12:53 p.m. trip and the 2:47 p.m.

Minister of Transportation, Caroline Mulroney, says the increased service will allow for more options for families to choose where they work and live. (Grant Linton/CBC)

Later trains, shorter coaches a part of new service

Thanks to the new changes to rail service, some Kitchener line trains will leave earlier, with others leaving up to eight minutes later for some existing stops. 

Some trains along the Kitchener line will also have reduced coaches, which will impact where people can wait along the platform.

These include: 

  • The 11 a.m. eastbound train leaving from Mount Pleasant GO
  • The 2:57 p.m. eastbound trip from Kitchener GO
  • The 9:48 a.m. westbound trip from Union Station

No two-way, all-day service announced, says NDP MPP

Catherine Fife, MPP for Waterloo, said Thursday's announcement doesn't provide a timeline for when two-way, all-day GO service will begin. 

"There is still no train that leaves Toronto and comes to KW in the morning which leaves 35,000 people out of the equation," she told CBC Kitchener-Waterloo. "Two-way, all-day GO will drive ridership, which will drive the economic potential and will address health and safety concerns." 

Fife says it's hard to sell Waterloo region as a place for an "innovative, economic corridor" when the region doesn't have two-way GO service

"I've met with many investors ... who want to make Waterloo region their home. But that lack of connectivity between Toronto and Waterloo Region is quite honestly an embarrassment," says Fife.

Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife says that given our tech sector, it's embarrassing that Waterloo region doesn't have proper connectivity to Toronto. She says Thursday's announcement doesn't highlight a timeline for two-way, all-day GO service. (Michael Charles Cole/CBC)

Amy Fee, PC MPP for Kitchener South-Hespeler, said that while two-way all-day GO service was not addressed, today's announcement moves towards that. 

Fee also said the future of the two-way, all-day GO will keep in mind the needs of the growing tech sector. 

"Looking at the tech sector, that is a big goal for all of us in the region," Fee told CBC Kitchener-Waterloo. "We have just as many people commuting into the region as we do actually commuting into Toronto."