Finally, the Barrie extension is back on track. From 680 news online:
“GO Train service is coming to Barrie.
The province and city have announced they’ve finalized an agreement to secure the land and rail corridor needed to make it a reality.
Up to four GO trains are expected to serve Barrie by late next year currently, train service runs only as far north as Bradford.
The expansion is part of the GO Transit rail improvement program (gotrip), a billion-dollar expansion announced by the province in May, 2004.”
Originally announced in May 2004 — the Extension to Barrie hit a snag when the government refused to purchase the line at ‘fair market value’. The City of Barrie had the foresight to realize they needed the rail line and bought the 22 mile section between Bradford and Barrie. CN abandoned the line in 1996 due to declining freight business. This put Barrie in a unique situation as very few regions own rail lines that have been converted into higher-speed passenger lines. Orangeville-Brampton may find themselves in a similar situation down the road, but Kitchener/Waterloo/Guelph do not have to worry, CN still owns the line and freight business is increasing.
Also, Patrick Brown Conservative MP for Barrie in his website hints at how much regions will be required to contribute: “The total cost of the Bradford to Barrie GO Train extension is estimated at $25 million, with each of the three levels of government contributing one-third of the cost”.