Kitchener GO Transit layover facility planned for Shirley Ave.

Metrolinx says Kitchener will one day be home to a future GO Transit layover facility, a storage and maintenance site, with capacity for four commuter trains and up to 30 buses that would occupy the former Clarke Transportation site on Shirley Avenue.

Future storage and maintenance facility would house and service 4 commuter trains, up to 30 buses

Metrolinx says a future GO Transit layover facility with storage and maintenance capacity for four commuter trains and up to 30 buses will be built on former industrial land on Shirley Avenue, close to where the Conestoga Expressway meets Wellington Street North. 

The site was purchased last fall, along with a 53-kilometre section of railroad track along the Kitchener-Georgetown line, from CN Rail for $73 million as part of a long-term plan by the provincial transportation development agency to bring two-way, all-day commuter rail between Waterloo Region and Toronto.

Malon Edwards, a Metrolinx spokesperson, said the future layover facility on Shirley Avenue will improve commuter rail service in the area. 

"GO Train service is more efficient and reliable when we have a layover facility located closer to where service begins and ends," he wrote in an email. "Building a layover in Kitchener means more reliable service for the community."

The project is currently in the design phase, according to Edwards. Once the blueprints are finished, the province can put the project out for tender.

Edwards said the cost of the future storage and maintenance facility would not be available until Metrolinx has found a builder. 

Premier Kathleen Wynne has said the province is committed to bringing true two-way, all-day GO train service between Waterloo Region and Toronto.

A consortium that includes the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, the Region of Waterloo and Communitech has presented the province with a business plan that claims two-way, all-day GO service would bring an additional net 37,600 jobs by connecting Toronto and Waterloo's tech hubs and generate $838 million in annual personal income tax.