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Looking east: News from Acton / photos of the Credit River double tracking in progress

By shost at 9:42 am on Monday, November 29, 2010

Interested in the perspective eastward from Waterloo Region and Guelph? Here are a couple perspectives worth looking at:

Acton’s take on new GO service: http://www.insidehalton.com/news/article/903306–go-trains-coming-to-acton-in-2011

Photo of the Credit River double tracking project, which was key to the possibility of expanded service Westward to our regions:

http://www.insidehalton.com/news/article/907767–rail-work-on-trestle-bridge-expected-to-end-next-month

As a bit of a historian, I note that the bridge abutments were widended and constructed to match the existing abutments, which were constructed in the 19th century.

- Steve

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Kitchener/Waterloo to build a transit hub like Guelphs

By shost at 8:01 pm on Thursday, November 25, 2010

This just in: Waterloo region has purchased land at Victoria and King St. for a new Transit hub, taking a page from Guelph to integrate GO Transit, VIA Rail, City Transit, and possibly Intercity Bus (Greyhound/GO/Coach Canada/etc).

http://news.therecord.com/News/Local/article/819869

The new transit hub is  also expected to service Rapid Transit (Light Rail) when it opens in future years.

I’m happy to see that Ken has got the message and transit integration with outside  Regions is finally deemed essential, Considering that the current Bus station is 3 KM away from the Railway line, bus customers who wish to take Trains are breathing a sigh of relief. =)

- Steve

Filed under: Cambridge,City of Guelph,Kitchener3 Comments »

More fallout on the Park St. Kitchener layover facility

By shost at 10:15 am on Wednesday, November 24, 2010

http://news.therecord.com/News/Local/article/817547

And a reminder to Kitchener residents: GO trains will idle for what, 30 minutes a day? And at the VIA Station, not even a KM away, Freight locomotives idle 24/7 because there is no off-board power system to connect the locomotives to, and they are also near homes and businessess. Where is the elephant in this room?

And an editorial from the Record:

http://news.therecord.com/Opinions/Editorials/article/818689

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“GO trains will park, idle in central Kitchener”

By shost at 12:05 pm on Saturday, November 20, 2010

http://news.guelphmercury.com/News/Local/article/724082

An interesting observation, Jeff, but what about the Freight locomotives that idle 24/7 across the road at the VIA Station? The GO locomotives have anti-idling technology — sure they may idle for 30 minutes prior to departure, but your calling attention to the wrong problem…

Interesting to note this Article seems to indicate the Breslau station is not part of the current plans.

- Steve

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Parking parking parking.. what of parking?

By shost at 3:10 pm on Friday, November 19, 2010

Interesting Guelph Mercury article on the parking conundrum:

http://news.guelphmercury.com/News/article/723335

“And besides, staff argued at the time, the Wilson Street parking garage would be up and running before the trains arrived so there would be plenty of capacity for the estimated 210 spots required by GO at startup.”

.. “GO’s assumption, as it must be whenever it launches a new service, is that demand for that service will increase over time.

The line last week that must surely have reverberated with city officials was from Gary McNeil, executive vice-president of Metrolinx-GO. He noted when service returned to Barrie a couple of years ago after a decade-long hiatus, it reached its five-year ridership target within the first three months.

Commuting patterns between Barrie and the Greater Toronto Area are likely different than they are from Guelph.

But if service here is met with similar enthusiasm, that “down the road” need for additional parking might be a very short road indeed.”

GOKW writes: Indeed, it is a short road, but who is to blame? There are three stations on the GO network without GO provided parking: Union Station, Exhibition, and Hamilton Hunter St. Why should Guelph be the fourth? Should the city provide parking, or should GO transit? Have your say by adding a comment below.

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More on GO trains returning to Guelph and Acton, extended to Kitchener/Waterloo

By shost at 4:09 pm on Friday, November 12, 2010

More media reaction to the announcement:

KW: http://news.therecord.com/News/Local/article/811764

Guelph: http://news.guelphmercury.com/News/CanadaWorld/article/719817

Further to the above and to the live report earlier today – it was mentioned that GO is interested in integrating Transit sytems using the Presto card. This is probably a whole new dicussion for city Governments, but we will have to see if Cities come on board to this idea. Integrating Presto cards would ensure a single pass transit/train integration not only at the source (such as in Guelph) but when you arrive in Toronto should you wish to go elsewhere that takes a Presto Card. The following shows the cities that currently use Presto (https://www.prestocard.ca/en/StaticContent/Gtafs/) and notably absent from the list is the TTC.

*UPDATE* I am told that Select subway stations in Toronto have Presto cards and are very well used.

Leanne Piper, councillor in Guelph reacted favourably to the announcement — and is excited over the possibilities of Kitchener/Waterloo commuters using the service to come to Guelph, as many presently do by car. As well, in discussion it was noted that tourists from Toronto can make an overnight weekday or weekend trip on an evening train, come to Guelph for dinner or some sightseeing, and depart on a future train.

Mentioned by Metrolinx president Gary McNeil is it appears GO has struck a deal with the Goderich and Exeter to add these two trains, while no doubt VIA continues to battle with Goderich and Exeter over the planned VIA improvements to the line. This phase 1 of the expansion is no doubt a ‘compromise’ in light of the fee dispute before the CTA and the Province’s promise to extend service by 2011, plus the balance of cutting expenditures in the Move Ontario 2020 budget.

Phase two would likely involve CTC and two additional trips, but the timing of this seems hung in the balance of the current negotiations.

Nonetheless, it is welcome news that service will start in 2011, and all readers of GOKW.ORG who supported the effort should be thanked for their dedication, very soon we will have the next step of a more integrated transit solution for our regions.

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GO trains by end of 2011! 2 train trips each way to kw/guelph/acton

By shost at 12:20 pm on Friday, November 12, 2010

Live from the announcement:

@ 2 trips per direction per day
@ 18 million dollar project
@ new kitchener layover facility
@ presto card/transit integration
@ first train at 6:15, second 7:30
@ compliment via service, 86 to remain

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Go Trains to be announced today. Guelph GO announcement at 11, Kitchener/Waterloo at 11:45.

By shost at 11:20 am on Friday, November 12, 2010

While details are not yet known, it seems certain the Province is to announce GO Trains for Guelph and Kitchener-Waterloo today. The first announcement is at 11 AM at the Guelph VIA station, and the second is at the Kitchener VIA Station at 11:45. There is only one reason why the province would make the announcement, and it won’t be VIA Rail related, that’s for certain.

Therefore — after the details are known (how many trains, start date, etc) will update everyone here. Surely this is the announcement we have all been waiting years to hear, stay tuned.

- Steve

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Liz Sandals and Kathleen Wynne to make “an important public transit announcement” tomorrow in Guelph

By shost at 8:28 pm on Thursday, November 11, 2010

From the Guelph Mercury blog,

http://guelphmercury.blogs.com/59_carden_st/2010/11/deja-vu-all-over-again.html#comments

“Provincial Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne will be in town tomorrow for “an important public transit announcement,” according to a very brief press release sent out this afternoon by Liz Sandals’ office.”

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Why GO Transit will be here to stay: Region (of Waterloo) on verge of becoming a ‘really big city’

By shost at 10:41 am on Thursday, November 4, 2010

An excellent article in the Record describing, exactly, why GO transit is here to stay when it arrives: You can’t be a really big city without some form of GO connection to Toronto. This is not mentioned in the article, but should be implied , Metrolinx would be silly not to…

http://news.therecord.com/Business/article/805365

Light Rail, Go Transit are necessities in Waterloo region and the current Regional Government has had this vision for Waterloo region for some time.Convincing the taxpayers of the Region of this fact will be more difficult, but so far the same Regonal council has been re-elected which is a vote of confidence in the planning process so far.

Guelphites will simply be in the middle of it all and no doubt we will find our own use of the system!

- Steve

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