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Dispute between VIA and GEXR stalls improvements

By shost at 11:08 am on Thursday, August 12, 2010

Quoted from the article:

“An ongoing dispute between VIA Rail Canada and Goderich-Exeter Railway (GEXR) over track usage fees has stalled long-sought infrastructure improvements that could see increased passenger service through St. Marys and Stratford”

..Currently, the number of trains passing through Stratford-St. Marys is not enough to meet demand during peak times, he adds.

“It’s frustrating,” says the mayor. “We’ve advocated for this, VIA agrees with us and they’re at the implementation stage, and we’re stalled.”

Full article here:


Filed under: City of Guelph,Kitchener,NewsComments Off

Is the GO expansion to Guelph and Kitchener-Waterloo in progress? GO calls for tender for Kitchener layover facilities.

By shost at 9:50 pm on Wednesday, January 6, 2010

While residents of Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo and Acton await the decision (yes or no) regarding the westward GO Train expansion from Georgetown, GO is already calling for tenders regarding a temporary layover facility. The following was found on the GO Tender call section of their website.


…. meanwhile the politicians have yet to make an official announcement. Thoughts? Thanks to Tom A/David G for the buzz.

Filed under: Cambridge,City of Guelph,Kitchener,News,Waterloo3 Comments »

VIA Rail plans to add 6 afternoon trains on the North Mainline by 2011

By shost at 10:07 pm on Wednesday, July 22, 2009

GO published their final Environmental Assessment documents this week and within was some interesting information about VIA Rail’s planned improvements. After some heavy reading, the following was published in Appendix B:

VIA Rail plans to add six new trains to the North Mainline, London to Toronto via Kitchener and Guelph. Trains departing from London at 1155, 1505, 1755, and departing from Toronto at 1300, 1630, 1830. This plan would provide off-peak service during the afternoons, and seems to avoid GO “Rush Hour”.

Very interesting news, as if this comes to pass we stand to have 12 VIA Rail and 8 GO Transit departures and arrivals per day by 2011, more than double today’s passenger rail service.

- Steve

(Update: The link to the raw documents can be found here)

Filed under: City of Guelph,Kitchener,News,Waterloo7 Comments »

The case for westbound GO service to Waterloo region

By shost at 1:22 am on Friday, February 13, 2009

GO Transit has been built on the philosophy that people in and around the GTA Commute to downtown Toronto. This philosophy has hardly changed over the last 30 years, owing to the fact the majority of users are in fact commuting in this direction. However, times are changing. The notion that GO is considering westward trains seem to indicate a change. But we must see this through.

Waterloo region (and Guelph) are growing rapidly and independently of the GTA. Consider the Waterloo technology industry — employing tens of thousands of people, companies such as Research in Motion, OpenText, Descartes, ComDev, Intelligent Mechatronic Systems, Sandvine, amongst many others. As an employee of this industry, I must stress that the growth that is occuring in Waterloo as a result of this sectors success can only continue if we find the right talent to fill the thousands of available open positions. This often means we are forced to recruit talent from the Toronto area, where the capture rate of this talent is lowered due to commute distance and/or moving costs.

If Waterloo region and Guelph are to become a successful, independent growth engine of the Ontario economy,  we need to look outward to attract talent using transit. Let’s GO WEST and help our employers attract the talent they require.

- Steve Host

Filed under: City of Guelph,Kitchener,News,Waterloo2 Comments »

PIC #2 Guelph Report, and copy of the Pictureboards

By shost at 1:11 am on Friday, February 13, 2009

First, here is a copy of the Pic display boards, which was also linked by WaterlooWarrior in comments below, (Thanks!):


Second, the comments I heard/discussed with GO/RJ Burnside personell at the PIC

  • There is strong demand for bidirectional rush hour service, not only including service to Toronto, but from Toronto to Kitchener. Somehow, it would appear that they may explore the option of providing this service at the onset in 2011. Time will tell if this is feasible though.
  • Guelph’s parking will be serviced using CIty parking. Some form of parking arrangement between the City and GO will need to be worked out, likely resulting in your GO ticket as your pass to free parking at City parking lots. Poltiically, this requires some form of cost sharing arrangement between the City and Go Transit that has yet to be determined. It would be interesting to see some form of Guelph Transit integration also included, if all stars could align on day one…
  • Significant trackwork and improvements are proposed for Guelph, an almost 10,000 foot long ‘siding track’ (Second main track), essentially upgrading the existing Siding to mainline standards to allow two trains to pass and wait at the Platform at the same time.
  • A second passing track would be installed between Kitchener and Guelph, 6000 feet in length, bordering at the Breslau park and ride station
  • VIA Rail is also looking to improve service on the North Mainline, and some form of cost sharing arrangement will be struck for the track improvements (this service has yet to be fully announced by the Federal government)

What’s next? Send in your comments, this is your last chance. By April, the EA will be finalized and submitted for approval. Once approved, the next step is our Provincial Government announcing the project and funding, likely complete with negotiations with municipal governments on cost sharing arrangements. 2011 is the earliest start date if all goes without a hitch. Good luck to all involved!



Filed under: City of Guelph,Kitchener,News,Waterloo3 Comments »

Tourist Train announced for Guelph, Ontario

By shost at 1:15 pm on Monday, April 14, 2008

A local Tour operator in Guelph, Ontario has announced a Tourist Train which will operate from Guelph to Guelph Junction, Ontario. While this does not bring any commuter benefit, it makes one wonder what ‘could be’ given the fact it will be a passenger train operating close to the Milton GO Line.

The Guelph Historical Railway Association has picked up a press release by Destiny Tours International discussing details of the tourist operation, which will feature full service meals “view(ing) the rolling scenery of the environmentally protected Greenbelt of Ontario.”.

It’s not everyday a new passenger train is announced in our region, therefore I thought it interesting to post here.



Filed under: City of Guelph,NewsComments Off

Press Release: “Campaign for Increased Passenger Service on the North Main Line to Begin”

By shost at 10:57 pm on Sunday, April 15, 2007

Campaign for Increased Passenger Service on the North Main Line to Begin

For immediate release…April 16th, 2007

Transport 2000 Canada, is a national citizens’ advocacy group promoting the use of
public transit in Canada.

T2000 Canada is beginning its public campaign for increased passenger rail frequency
along the North Main Rail Line.(NML) This rail line runs from London through St.
Mary’s, Stratford, Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Georgetown, Brampton into Toronto.

The advocacy campaign will consist of 3 public meetings, a public email campaign and
meetings with selected politicians along the NML. The public meetings will be:

April 24, Stratford – 7pm – Kiwanis Community Centre;
April 25, Kitchener – 7pm – Transylvania Club;
April 26, 7:30pm – Guelph – Norfolk United Church.

“Climate change is the most significant issue facing us today. The studies have been
completed to show the opportunities for additional passenger rail service on the North
Main Line. It is time the government and VIA Rail to act to increase passenger service on
the line,” states Paul Langan, Transport 2000 Canada North Main Rail Line

For more information contact – Paul Langan, 519-654-0089, www.transport2000.ca

[Note: GOKW.org is not affiliated with Transport 2000, but this is exactly what we are lobbying for. Please attend if you have time, especially if you are a commuter looking for this kind of service. Your feedback would help them immensely. Also write your members of parliment, mayors, or councillors on the issue.]

Filed under: City of Guelph,Kitchener,NewsComments Off

Transit dominates local media reports

By shost at 10:25 pm on Thursday, November 9, 2006

Transit and traffic congestion are dominating local media reports, and candidates are all vocal about their solutions to the problem. The most heated debates are in the Region of Waterloo for the position of Chair. The Waterloo Record published an article on November 8 titled “Public transit choices divide Seiling, Verdun”. The article had this to summarize about each candidate:

“Seiling, who has been regional chair for 21 years, wants a light-rail transit line in Waterloo Region.The trains would run through the heart of Kitchener and Waterloo, eventually extending to Cambridge and Elmira.

Verdun, a development consultant and former newspaper editor and owner, says his top priority is GO service. He wants GO trains ferrying people between Waterloo Region and Toronto and the surrounding area.”

Later, the Record says this about Sieling’s views of GO:

“Although a big supporter of light-rail transit within the region, Seiling said he hasn’t ruled GO out. The worry is that Waterloo Region will become strictly a commuter region.”

The article also discusses some data pointing to the number of commuters in the area, but the information is already 5 years old:

According to the 2001 census, 12 per cent of local residents with jobs commute to work outside the region.

Of the commuters, most go to Guelph. Four per cent, or close to 10,000 people, go to Toronto, Peel and Halton”"

The Staff of GOKW.ORG are experienced commuters and would like to remind people that in 5 years, a lot can change.. there has been significant commuter traffic growth for directions towards the GTA and it’s only getting worse.

Other media profiles of the various wards in Waterloo each mention a candidate supporting GO Transit expansion. Of course, you don’t have to look to your media reports for that information, you can find it yourself by clicking our “candidates respond” section, and locating the responses from the people you voted for.

There was a second all candidates debate for Regional Chair in the Canada Room of the Market Square and the author was in attendance. Very similar issues were also brought up, and there may be more media coverage in tomorrow’s papers. It’s clear to me that the battleground over Transit lies in the Waterloo Regional Chair and Councillor seats.

Filed under: Cambridge,Kitchener,News,WaterlooComments Off