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2-way, all-day service coming for local GO Train riders

A new electric train fleet will also be introduced that could reach speeds of 140 kilometres per hour between stations, province announced
USED 2021 04 08 GO Train SC
On the GO in Newmarket.

With gas prices continuing to sit at record highs, this week’s announcement that the provincial government is investing in improving GO train services to the Greater Golden Horseshoe area  including Newmarket and Aurora  is coming as welcome news to those who depend on the service regularly. 

The provincial government announced Tuesday that it has awarded a contract to ONxpress Transportation Partners to modernize and transform the GO rail network and bring frequent, two-way, all-day service to the area.

The project, which is expected to generate thousands of new jobs and create economic opportunities across the region, will include adding more than 200 kilometres of new track and electrifying over 600 kilometres of track.

A new electric train fleet will also be introduced that could reach speeds of 140 kilometres per hour between stations. 

The contract is valued at an estimated $1.6 billion, Kimberly Truong, an assistant senior issues advisor for the Ministry of Transportation, said.

Electrification work  including at Barrie’s Allandale station  is not expected to start until after the two-year development phase.

The work to upgrade the rail corridor to a second set of tracks has already begun between Toronto and King City, Truong explained, noting additional corridor widening to Aurora and localized passing tracks between Aurora and Barrie will begin after the development phase. 

“There has been some reduced evening and weekend service, as work is performed overnight and on weekends," Truong said. 

Once the work is completed, Truong said both the Barrie South and the Allandale Waterfront stations will see two-way, all-day GO service every 30 minutes as part of expansion.

Metrolinx, the Crown agency of the government of Ontario that manages and integrates road and public transport in much of the province’s Golden Horseshoe region, along with ONxpress Transportation Partners, are set to enter a 24-month development phase to work together on design, early investigations, schedule optimization and key initial construction work.

This work will also include the delivery of overhead electrification, a new electric train fleet, upgraded train control systems, and expanded tracks and structures along the corridors to allow for potentially significantly higher frequencies than pre-pandemic service.

The project will also include the operations and maintenance of the GO rail network.

Construction is expected to start in 2023 with plans to add additional services over time beginning in 2025-26. The province is also moving ahead with the remainder of GO rail expansion’s early works as well as off-corridor projects, which include building new corridor infrastructure and improving and expanding existing infrastructure and stations.

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About the Author: Nikki Cole

Nikki Cole has been a community issues reporter for BarrieToday since February, 2021
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