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GO Transit operates its Kitchener GO Train between Union Station in downtown Toronto and Kitchener GO station near downtown Kitchener. As of the time of this writing (June 2013), in addition to two trains departing inbound from Kitchener weekday mornings and returning in the afternoon, three trains depart inbound from Georgetown weekday mornings and returning in the afternoon, three more trains depart inbound from Bramalea weekday mornings while a single later-evening run returns to Mount Pleasant. In 2008, the Georgetown GO line boasted an average weekday ridership of 15,649, although that number has increased with additional service to Guelph and Kitchener. Settlement in the towns and townships northwest of Toronto dates back to the early 19th century, as farmers followed the concession roads and the Credit and Humber rivers into the Oak Ridges Moraine and the Niagara Escarpment.
The Georgetown line was GO Transit's second train line, launched almost seven years after the initial service along the Lakeshore between Pickering and Oakville.
Some of the more cynical critics suggested that the Georgetown GO line was a gift to the city of Brampton, which was celebrating its 100th anniversary at the time and which, coincidentally, was also the home of Ontario Premier Bill Davis. On the 29th of October, 1990, as part of a series of promises made by the David Petersen Liberals on the eve of their defeat, one train each day was extended to run from Guelph, with a stop at Acton. On September 4, 2001, a new afternoon train was added that left Union Station at 14:50 making all stops to Brampton and then dead-heading back to Union Station to make a rush hour trip elsewhere in the system.
The first of these changes to finish was the relocation of the Weston GO station from the north side of Lawrence to the south side.
In June 2006, the provincial government of Dalton McGuinty established Metrolinx, a crown agency whose task was to look at ways to expand public transportation infrastructure in the GTA.
There were already proposals to take GO Train service to Waterloo Region by extending the Milton line to Cambridge. Early in 2011, Metrolinx announced that service would be extended from Georgetown to Kitchener. The new service was announced to include stops at Acton, but cost-cutting measures meant that construction did not begin on this station before the extension started operation.
The significant changes that began in 2011 would not have been possible had not Metrolinx purchased the Weston Sub from Canadian National.
From Union Station, the Kitchener GO Train line enters the Weston sub at Strachan Avenue and follows it all the way to Bramalea.
From Bathurst Street to Bloor Street, the Kitchener GO train passes through Liberty Village and the old village of Parkdale. North of Bloor station, the line passes some of the industrial remnants of the West Toronto Junction, before diving into a tunnel beneath the Canadian Pacific tracks. After veering northwest, the line rises above Weston Road and continues on to a tall bridge (widened to accommodate additional tracks) over the Humber River.
From Etobicoke North to Malton Station, the line runs arrow straight, again paralleled by industrial scenery for most of the way. As the line crosses Derry Road in Malton, the scenery changes from industrial to residential again, as the line passes through the 1940s community built up to serve the area's factories during World War Two. The line finally enters countryside northwest of Mount Pleasant station, passing through fields and an aggregate mine. The two trains which continue on to Kitchener proceed out the western end of this yard and re-enter the main line.
Kitchener's train station is an older building that has seen passenger train service for decades. Kitchener's two GO trains are currently stored at a new two-track storage facility immediately west of King Street. As of the time of this writing (May 2014), considerable work is already underway expanding tracks and bridges and eliminating level crossings to ensure that service to Kitchener can be expanded, made faster and more reliable.
However, a number of these changes have been controversial, particularly for the village of Weston which objected to having John Street closed to both vehicles and pedestrians.
Either way, the former Georgetown GO line has grown to provide essential service to the developing suburbs northwest of Toronto, and to provide a vital link to the cities of Guelph and Kitchener. GO cab car #230 leads a Georgetown-bound train westbound into Union Station during the height of the afternoon rush hour on June 10, 2015. For GO Transit, all trains lead to Union or, if it's the afternoon, all trains lead from it.
A southbound morning GO Train emerges from the Dundas Street bridge, heading along freshly groomed rail on the Weston sub on May 6, 2015. The last morning inbound Kitchener line train passes a Union Pearson Express test train while approaching Dundas Street in this May 6, 2015 shot. The first GO train from Kitchener greets the sunrise at Bloor station on the morning of December 19, 2011.
A Georgetown GO Train has just left Bloor station and is approaching the crossing with the CP main line. Northbound Georgetown train (out of service) crossing Old Weston Road at West Toronto in 2000. As seen from a Kitchener GO train on the afternoon of July 17, 2014, Metrolinx construction workers have laid down asphalt tarp as part of the reconstruction and expansion of the Weston subdivision, south of Weston GO station. The southern entrance of Weston GO station, as seen across the street on Lawrence Avenue, in August 2009. The community of Weston, with a strong sense of its history, helped put up pictures of Old Weston at the Weston GO station.
A view of the newly opened west platform of the new Weston GO station, looking north towards Lawrence on July 10, 2013, while a southbound Kitchener GO train disembarks.
On the afternoon of July 14, 2014, the second platform and its associated station structure of Weston GO station rise from the trackbed.
The 17:45 departure from Union pulls into Etobicoke North in the early evening of April 23, 2013.
An early morning Kitchener GO Train leaves Mount Pleasant GO station on July 10, 2013, with cab car #219 bringing up the rear. The very first train to depart Kitchener GO station in revenue service pulls into Kitchener station from the layover yard early in the morning on December 19, 2011, on its way to Union. The sun rises while a GO train bearing an advertising wrap for Alberta's tourism industry picks up passengers at Kitchener GO station in the early morning hours of July 4, 2014.
At the western end of the GO Kitchener line, two GO Kitchener trains backed by cab cars 255 and 306 wait to enter service at the Kitchener GO layover yard between King Street and Park. To see more articles within the Regional Transit division, you may return to the Regional Transit division page.
All words and images featured in this domain are either copyrighted to the people maintaining this domain or are copyright to other copyright holders who have given permission for their material to be used on the Transit Toronto web site only. Caption: GO Kitchener Line Train #211 is shoving westbound out of Guelph, with the newest (at the time) in the "Metrolinx" era paint scheme, GO 607 - providing the motive power. Train-buses provide additional off-peak, weekend and reverse-commuter service between Union and Bramalea, Brampton and Georgetown, with some buses providing service to the University of Guelph and downtown Kitchener. In May 1852, Grand Trunk announced its intentions to build a railroad from Toronto through the villages of Weston and Georgetown. When Grand Trunk was merged into Canadian National, CN trains plied the tracks between Toronto and London, serving Guelph, Kitchener and Stratford and continuing or linking to Windsor and Sarnia.
In the 1950s, CN started service on a train between Guelph and Toronto, with one inbound train in the morning and a returning outbound train in the afternoon. On day one, three trains left Georgetown Station in the morning and stopped at Brampton, Bramalea, Malton, Weston and Bloor stations before arriving at Toronto Union Station, and three trains returned in the afternoon. No connecting buses were offered from Guelph to Kitchener, which had expressed interest in improved rail service. After almost doubling in population in the 1980s (234,445 in 1991 compared to 149,030 in 1981), Brampton continued to see significant growth, especially in its northwest quadrant. In April 2002, a major service revision was made, providing partial midday trains to and from Union Station as far as Bramalea, with bus connections to Brampton and Georgetown.

The rail was built connecting with the Weston Subdivision east of Halwest, so that trains terminating at Bramalea would not interfere with CN freight trains on the Halton Subdivisions, or with future GO Transit express trains.
One morning train from Georgetown was converted to an express run, stopping only at Brampton, Bramalea and Union Station. The construction included new underpasses for Strachan Avenue, Denison Road, and Carlingview Avenue, a tunnel through the village of Weston, station renovations, and the grade separation of the diamond between the Weston sub and the Canadian Pacific freight tracks near the Toronto Junction. In the first half of 2013, the old Weston GO station was shuttered and, on July 24, 2013, passengers started to use the new facility. In the summer of 2007, based on Metrolinx's recommendations, the McGuinty government launched MoveOntario 2020, which proposed 52 transit expansion projects over the next thirteen years. However, while Metrolinx and GO Transit (which were later merged) were committed to expanding service on the Milton line, extending service past Milton proved costly. Two trains which previously operated out of Georgetown would instead lay over at a new temporary layover facility in Kitchener by the main line railway tracks between King and Park streets.
GO Transit announced its intentions to purchase the line for $160 million on April 8, 2009.
It also parallels Canadian Pacific's former Galt Sub to the Junction (officially known as "West Toronto") and CP's Mactier Sub from the Junction to the old Village of Weston. The old industrial areas have been completely rebuilt into a well-gentrified residential neighbourhood, with mid-rise and high-rise apartments crowding the right-of-way.
For many years, it was an unmanned station with two open-air platforms linking to two sets of stairs leading down to Bloor Street.
The first GO Train through this tunnel ran through southbound early on the Monday morning of May 26, 2014, ending service across one of the busiest track diamonds in Canada. Clair, the line parallels Weston Road, passing beneath Rogers Road and then rising above the height of land to cross Black Creek and Black Creek Road over a pair of bridges. It isn't long before the factories and warehouses return, however, as the Weston Sub meets CN's York sub at Bramalea, where a major parking lot and connecting bus terminal has been built. It's startling to see the scenery change from modern industrial to small town in an instant. It isn't long before the train pulls into Mount Pleasant station, near Brampton's western boundary. After making a spectacular crossing over the Credit River, the line enters Georgetown and passes through older industrial and residential neighbourhoods. Here, delays can occur as the crew has to radio ahead to the Goderich and Exeter dispatchers to ensure the line is clear. The next major settlement is Acton, where a stop has once again been built near the Olde Hyde House. GO's arrival required a significant extension of the platform east almost to Margaret Avenue, and the closure of Ahrens Street across the tracks. The changes mean that more service is coming, possibly hourly two-way service between Union and Mount Pleasant and, in the far future, two-way service between Union and Kitchener.
Local residents near the West Toronto Diamond also objected to the amount of noise and vibrations resulting from the construction of the grade separation there. Here, in this 2000 shot, a northwest bound train passes Bathurst Yard where numerous rush-hour only trains are stored during the midday. The entrance would soon be boarded up and demolished as work on the Weston Tunnel moved Weston GO station south of Lawrence.
This large photograph on the wall shows old Weston station, which used to exist on the site before being demolished. This, the southern end of the Weston station platform is seen from a passing Kitchener GO Train.
The station is unmanned in the afternoon, but does see use from commuters who park in the lot nearby. Soon after the two Kitchener trains were inaugurated, an additional connection was added to Guelph and Kitchener in the form of buses that connected with a later evening departure between Union and Mount Pleasant at Bramalea. This temporary facility will be replaced by a new four-track facility being built further east, near Shirley Avenue. This section of the web site features articles relating to transit operations taking place throughout the Greater Toronto Area, from GO Transit to the Hamilton Street Railway and everything in between. On that day, two trains which previously terminated at Georgetown were extended west to serve stops in Guelph and Kitchener.
The railway opened for service in 1856, extending past Georgetown through Guelph and Kitchener (then known as Berlin) before reaching Stratford and London. This service was still running on April 29, 1974 when GO Transit started a new service along the route between Union Station and Georgetown. A fourth train was added to the schedule sometime between 1975 and 1978, but the line remained stable until 1990. Perhaps as a result of this oversight, the extended service foundered, with only 60 passengers per day riding the train in from Guelph.
By 2001, Brampton's population had reached 325,428, while Halton Hills (containing Georgetown) had reached 48,184. A new local train from Bramalea was added to serve Malton, Etobicoke North, Weston and Bloor. These changes were part of a design to significantly increase the speed, frequency and reliability of the Georgetown Line, along with additional work related to the Union Pearson Express air rail link. The new station was fully accessible, offered a kiss-'n'-ride passenger drop off area and parking for 144 cars. Included in these proposals were two projects located within Waterloo Region outside the GTA: the Waterloo Regional LRT, and an extension of the Georgetown GO train to Kitchener to meet it.
The line the Milton train operates on is a major freight route for Canadian Pacific and, west of Milton, the right-of-way narrows to a single track.
The extension was accomplished for just $18 million, a minimal expenditure that limited the number of trains that could serve this extension. The purchase covered the stretch of the line from Strachan Avenue in Toronto to where it joins CN's York Sub near Bramalea station.
West of Georgetown, the line was leased to the Goderich and Exeter Railway in a deal that lasted until around 2020 and covering the tracks all the way to Stratford, London and Goderich.
North of Dundas Street, the West Toronto Railtrail takes one of the old trackbeds, providing a connection for bikers and walkers through the back streets of this revitalizing area. Although located close to the Bloor-Danforth subway at Dundas West, connections were inconvenient, requiring a long walk to get around the Crossroads shopping centre development.
This complicated junction was the industrial centrepiece of the Junction neighbourhood for over a century, but also a source of potential delays for GO transit, and an obstacle to improved service. Less work was required here to expand service, as the properties have been set back from the rail line, and the bridges over Islington and Kipling were more ready to handle the additional tracks.
This station, added in 2005, was designed as the eventual terminus of two-way hourly service seven days a week between Brampton and Union Station. At Georgetown station, GO Trains switch off the main line and enter into a train yard north of the old station building. West of Acton, it's back to rural scenery, before climbing an embankment and crossing over the Eramosa River into downtown Guelph and a stop at Guelph station. The station building remains open as a waiting area and ticket office, but its days may be numbered.
As GO train service to Kitchener expands, a larger facility is needed, and the proposed site for such a facility includes a possible Kitchener West station where the tracks cross Ira Needles Boulevard. The controversy has focused attention on the possibility of electrifying service on the line.
By 2014, the level crossing between CP freight trains and GO trains will have been eliminated.

The level crossing closed soon after work began on the diamond separation in 2011, and will be replaced by an overpass in 2014. A temporary dome enclosing the King Street underpass project for the Waterloo Region LRT can be seen in the background.
You may link to any page on this website, and you may quote text from this web site (citing sources), but before using any material found on this site beyond fair use, you must first obtain permission from the copyright holder. The initial settlement of Brampton began at the "four corners" of today's Queen and Main Streets in 1822. The population of Kitchener, Guelph and Georgetown all increased dramatically as a result of the rail connections for freight and passengers between London and Toronto, although the line itself was soon overshadowed by other main lines operating between London and Toronto (via Cambridge and Brantford).
Most of the service was long-distance based, as Kitchener, Stratford and London remained well outside Toronto's commuter watershed. Canadian National continued to run its Guelph-Toronto commuter train until November 14th, 1975 before abandoning it, a year and a half after GO started running trains to Georgetown. The extension became an obvious candidate for cuts when the NDP government was forced to reduce GO Transit's subsidies in 1993. The Georgetown GO train was augmented by hourly bus service between Brampton station and York Mills station on the Yonge subway. The mid afternoon departure from Union to Brampton was adjusted to leave at 15:15 at the same time. The changes did require that the midday trains between Union and Bramalea be switched back to buses, but the expectation is, once construction is complete in time for the Pan Am Games in 2015, midday service on the route will be restored, possibly as two-way hourly off-peak service between Union and Mount Pleasant.
The old Weston station could not be used as plans called for the tracks to dip down into a trench and then a tunnel through the old village of Weston, digging beneath King and Church streets before rising up to meet a widened bridge over Weston Road and the Humber River. Laying down additional track and adding stations gave the Cambridge extension higher start-up costs than service to Kitchener. To bring about service on December 19, a temporary accessibility ramp had to be built at Kitchener, while more extensive construction took place in Guelph. These tracks remain in what is known as "dark territory" where centralized traffic control is not possible, and the short line has not backed attempts to upgrade these tracks so that more train service can run. At one point, there were only a handful of tracks for a right-of-way that was wide enough to handle four different rail companies. The bike trail extends north to Cariboo Avenue, and it is proposed that it extend as far south as Strachan.
Proposals to build a second exit to Dundas West connecting directly with Bloor GO station surfaced around 2002, but were blocked by the owners of Crossroads. Work which started in 2010 created a gigantic trench to take the Weston sub beneath the CP tracks, as well as built an overpass for Old Weston Road and a connecting track to the CP's Mactier sub.
North of Weston station, the trip past the back yards of residential Weston will change to the darkness of a tunnel. At Kipling, trains make a stop at Etobicoke North station, nestled into a niche formed by the 401 - 409 junction.
It was here that some proposed to build a station to serve both Woodbine Racetrack and Pearson Airport (via a connecting people mover). Platforms and underpasses connect these yard tracks with the historical station itself, as well as parking, and connecting buses. Then, west of Guelph Station, the train slows right down as it passes through a residential neighbourhood where houses face the tracks. In 2011, Waterloo Region committed to building a new transit terminal at the corner of King and Victoria. Metrolinx's own study indicate that electric trains could provide even faster service, while eliminating ecologically unhealthy diesel emissions. Bookmark us for when you are bored, and check out 'top shots' and 'fantastic (editors choice)' in the menu above, you won't be dissapointed.
Further northwest, the village of Stewarttown was set up as the seat of Nassagaweya township. As Grand Trunk well on hard financial times during and after the First World War, it was soon absorbed by Canadian National. On January 29th, 2000, GO Transit added a fifth round trip between Bramalea and Union, with bus connections to Georgetown. Unfortunately, the configuration of the bus loop and parking lots at Bramalea did not facilitate easy bus connections for Brampton and Georgetown, and the bus loop is situated on the otherside of a busy parking lot. Five months later, Mount Pleasant station, located at Highway 7 and Creditview Road in northwestern Brampton opened on February 7, 2005.
GO and VIA expressed an interest in expanding train service to Kitchener in 2011, but it will take some hard negotiations between GO, the Goderich and Exeter Railway and Canadian National before progress can be made. In 2013, work began upgrading Bloor station to make it accessible and make it a shared stop with the Union Pearson Express air rail link. Although trains started using the tunnel beneath the CP tracks in May 2014, a fair amount of work remained, completing the Junction Road bridge over the Weston sub tracks, and expanding the number of tracks through the junction.
On the surface above, the Mactier Sub branches off to the north, and goes on to run through Bolton (a possible destination for its own GO Train in a few years).
There used to be a small industrial yard to the north of the station, one of CN's few ones left after the building of the MacMillian yard, but the factories are giving way to big box stores.
However, after passing beneath Highway 427, the tracks for the UP Express train will instead break off and proceed south over a spur line to a new station built atop Terminal 1.
The original station building predates GO Transit, although a modern and sheltered second platform along the south side of the tracks in 2009. The station is located close to a high density residential development, giving the area the air of a transit-suburb.
Things don't speed up again until the line crosses the Hanlon Expressway, but then it's a fast run through Puslinch and Woolwich townships. The drawback is that the cost of converting the route to electric operation could be in the billions. The area has become more built up and, by the end of 2014, trains will be passing beneath Strachan Avenue. Bolstered by a grist mill, a foundry and a woolen mill, population grew, and in 1837 the village was founded as a town called Georgetown. As Canadian National owned the tracks operating between London and Toronto via Brantford and Oakville, the route via Kitchener and Georgetown became known as the North Main Line. Once opened in 2015, this stop will feature that direct connection to Dundas West station, and be a fully accessible and sheltered station. Still, the first GO Trains through the tunnel were a good milestone for area residents, who have had to suffer through daily construction noise, and the pounding of pile-drivers to build the retaining walls.
West of the station is an abandoned diamond with tracks that continue on to Orangeville and once extended south to Streetsville. After passing through the village of Breslau (where a station may be built to offer park-'n'-ride facilities to Waterloo Region), the line crosses the Grand River to enter the City of Kitchener.
Further work related to Waterloo Region's LRT mean the construction of new underpasses where level crossings had been. These tracks once belonged to Canadian Pacific, but are now owned by the Credit Valley Explorer tourist train.
Weston residents and others en route want the conversion to happen before the UP Express air rail link opens in 2015. This train operates excursions between Orangeville and Inglewood, but has no plans, as yet, to bring trains as far south as Brampton.

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