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GO trains head to Kitchener and Guelph, starting December 19

Starting Monday, December 19, GO Transit operates train service to new GO stations in Kitchener and Guelph Mondays to Fridays only during rush hours. The trains extend service along what GO currently identifies as the 31 Georgetown line further west to the two cities.

During morning rush hours, the eastbound train that currently starts its trip at Georgetown GO Station at 6:47 a.m. Mondays to Fridays, instead starts at Kitchener GO Station at 5:52 a.m. and serves the Guelph Central GO Station at 6:14 a.m. The train continues to serve Georgetown 6:47 a.m. and serves all other stops along the line at the same time as it does currently, arriving in Union Station at 7:53 a.m.

Another eastbound train operates on a new trip along the entire line. It leaves Kitchener at 7:10 a.m. Mondays to Fridays, serves Guelph Central at 7:32, Georgetown at 8:05, Mount Pleasant at 8:14, Brampton at 8:21, Bramalea at 8:28, Malton at 8:35, Etobicoke North at 8:41, Weston at 8:46, Bloor at 8:53 and arrives in Union Station at 9:08 a.m.

During afternoon rush hours, the westbound train that currently leaves Union Station at 4:45 p.m. Mondays to Fridays serves Georgetown at 5:46 p.m., Guelph Central at 6:18 p.m. and Kitchener at 6:42 p.m.

The westbound train that currently leaves Union at 5:45 p.m. serves Georgetown at 6:45 p.m., Guelph Central at 7:18 p.m. and Kitchener at 7:42 p.m.

The new Guelph Central GO Station is at Wyndham Street North and Carden Street. (A new terminal for Guelph Transit, GO, Greyhound and Aboutown buses will open beside the train station next year.) One-way adult GO train fare between Guelph and Union Station $11.60. The new Kitchener GO Station is at Weber Street West and Victoria Street North. One-way adult fare between Kitchener and Union is $14.60.

Although most trains operating along the line start and end their trips in Georgetown, GO is no longer referring to the train and bus service through the corridor as the 31 Georgetown route. Starting December 19, it’s renaming the service the 31 Kitchener line.

GO is also adjusting other bus and train service in the corridor, too. For example, the eastbound train that currently leaves Bramalea GO Station at 9:20 a.m. Mondays to Fridays, instead leaves 15 minutes later at 9:35 a.m. Trains will serve all stations along the line 15 minutes later than currently. GO is also adjusting the schedules for buses operating along the 31 Kitchener, 33 Guelph / North York, 37 Orangeville / Brampton and 38 Bolton / Malton routes, so that bus passengers can connect with the later train. (Transit Toronto will provide information on these bus trips in a later post.)

You can view the new schedule for the 31 Kitchener line here. (.pdf)

The Waterloo Region Record reports, that, although local politicians are pleased about the service, they’re also disappointed that their area is getting less service than they originally expected.

Among the “shortfalls” that the Record identifies:

  • “The new service cuts the trains proposed in 2009 in half from four to two. It lacks a park-and-ride station proposed near Highway 7, east of Breslau. The province will not provide a date to add trains or build the park-and-ride, saying it depends partly on ridership.
  • “There’s no launch date for all-day, two-way service between Kitchener and Toronto. Municipal politicians desire this to help out-of-town technology employees commute to jobs in this region.
  • “There’s no launch date for weekend service, which the province links partly to ridership.
  • “A planned station at Acton is delayed into 2012.”

The Record says that the Region of Waterloo plans 120 free parking spaces for passengers at King and Victoria streets when trains launch. It’s planning another 130 spaces for 2012. Anyone arriving after the second train leaves each morning will have to pay regular parking rates.

GO will eventually relocate the train service to a future transit hub at King and Victoria streets that regional government proposes to build, so that passengers can connect with the future light rail transit line.

A single GO train in each direction previously operated to Acton and Guelph from October 29, 1990 until July 2, 1993. GO has never operated train service to Kitchener.

From the Transit Toronto archives, you can read an article on the history of the Georgetown line by Daniel Garcia and Sean Marshall here.