One of the prime transportation objectives of the Ontario government is to establish 2-way all-day GO service from Toronto to Kitchener along the so-called Innovation Corridor. The recent Provincial budget explicitly discussed progress on a second tunnel under Highways 401/409 and progress on procurement this year of additional tracks and new platforms.
The current operation provides limited service to Kitchener. Metrolinx has now released the Preliminary Design Business Case (PDBC) defining the infrastructure requirements, costs and benefits of reaching the provincial objective. For the inner portion of the line (Weston Sub), the approved GO Expansion project will provide adequate infrastructure. However, on the Bramalea – Georgetown portion (Halton Sub), additional track and potentially a rail-rail grade separation will be needed to allow shared use with CN Rail. On the Georgetown – Kitchener portion (Guelph Sub), passing tracks will need to be added on this single track line. Capital cost is estimated at $1.3B – 1.7B PV, roughly within the provincial funding envelope. It is also encouraging to note the apparent cooperation between CN and Metrolinx on this project.
The PDBC also mentions other potential future enhancements, such as a direct connection to Pearson Airport, electrification beyond Bramalea and service extension to Southwestern Ontario. Transport Action will continue to monitor this strategic project closely.
The full report is available online: Kitchener GO Rail Service Expansion – Preliminary Design Business Case
Photo of GO Kitchener Line train at Bloor station by Sally Hewson.