Two-way Kitchener GO train service thwarted by 30 km of track
Ontario still negotiating over use of CN-owned rail corridor between Georgetown and Brampton
A 30 kilometre-length of track still stands in the way of two-way, all-day GO train service between Waterloo Region and Toronto according to the Ontario government.
The rail corridor in question is owned by the Canadian National Railway and runs between Georgetown's GO Station and Brampton's Bramalea GO Station.
"If we're going to increase traffic in any direction, we have to sort out this piece of the puzzle," said Kitchener-Centre MPP Daiene Vernile at a news conference Monday.
"There's a group of policy people, planners and engineers that are negotiating right now on that and everything is on the table. We're looking at all possibilities to make this work."
The Liberals promised two-way, all-day GO train service between Kitchener and Toronto in the run-up to the 2014 provincial election.
If we're going to increase traffic in any direction, we have to sort out this piece of the puzzle.- Daiene Vernile, Kitchener-Centre MPP
Glen Murray, who was Ontario's transportation minister at the time, originally promised to deliver the improved service in five years, but the time line has since changed.
"I think we're confident that ... you will see train service doubling by 2016 and then, within a 10 year time frame, seeing all-day, two-way GO train service to KW," Vernile said.
"We all want it to go a lot faster, but we are facing these challenges– these circumstances– that have to be addressed, and the piece of that that's very challenging is the fact that we don't own that track between Georgetown and [Bramamlea]."
$16 million layover facility
Vernile was in Kitchener on Monday to to announce the construction of a new, $16 million GO train layover facility at 200 Shirley Ave., which was promised in April 2015.
- Kitchener GO Transit layover facility planned for Shirley Ave.
- GO Transit gets $16B from Ontario for improvements
The new train yard will have space for four trains and will replace the existing train yard in downtown Kitchener, which only has space for two trains.
But Wolczyk did not know when Metrolinx would be able to run trains in the opposite direction: from Toronto to Kitchener in the morning and from Kitchener to Toronto in the evening.
Construction of the layover facility began last week. It is expected to be completed by next summer, with plans to open for use by late 2016.
The investment is part of a larger government project to improve GO train service over the next 10 years. The province has set aside $31.5 million for its "Moving Ontario Forward" plan to improve transit and roads in the province. That money is part of a larger $130 billion 10-year infrastructure province-wide improvement fund.
- An earlier version of this story said that investment in the layover facility is part of a government project to improve GO train service over the next 10 years, which is expected to cost more than $130 billion. In fact, $130 billion is the cost the Liberal government has set aside to improve all infrastructure across the province over the next ten years.Nov 17, 2015 7:29 AM ET