The pandemic has had an impact on how many people are taking the GO Train, not to mention an impact on how many GO Trains are rolling down the tracks everyday, but that doesn’t mean Metrolinx isn’t looking to the future. A virtual town hall has begun online to get local feedback about the electrification of the Kitchener Line, the GO Train service that passes through Guelph connecting Kitchener with Union Station.
To recap: Metrolinx is presently in the midst of an environmental assessment for the electrification of a portion of the Kitchener Line Georgetown and Kitchener. An initial public meeting was held in Fall 2019, but this second public meeting is in the form of a virtual presentation available on the Metrolinx website. Typically, Metrolinx has these sorts of planning feedback sessions in-person, but that’s just not possible because of the pandemic.
How does this work? From now until August 12, you can click here, review the Powerpoint presentation, access supplementary information, and record your feedback. The presentation will cover the proposed infrastructure for the project, the location for potential traction power facilities, an overview of the technical and environmental studies so far, the preliminary impacts and assessment results, and the next steps.
Although we’re still far away from the implementation of tw0-way, all-day GO Train service, there have been a lot of changes to the service in the last year. Last summer, GO added afternoon and evening service to Toronto along the Kitchener Line as well as late morning and early afternoon return trips. Earlier this year, the train crossing at Dublin Street was closed to traffic, and new fencing has been installed along with GO tracks in the western end of the city to improve safety.
Although the electrification of the Kitchener Line is not conditional for the implementation of tw0-way, all-day GO, Metrolinx has made it a part of their process as they prepare to deliver constant, daily train service between Toronto and Kitchener. The span of track between Georgetown and Kitchener covers 54 kilometres, and along with electrification, Metrolinx is investigating new signals, communications systems and bridges and tunnels.
“It’s important to note that Metrolinx is committed to two-way, all day service on the Kitchener line,” said Metrolinx senior advisor Scott Money in a blog post. “It is a key priority of our GO expansion program. An important part of the process is to gather community feedback at every step of the way, to make sure we’re moving through this in a way that considers the community and surrounding environment.”