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ION trains still on schedule for December launch

Some LRVs arrived in July.
Some LRVs arrived in July. Kevin Nielsen / Global News

The ION transit system remains on schedule to begin service in December.

“We continue to target our goal of starting service in December of this year,”  Thomas Schmidt, commissioner of transportation and environmental services, told Waterloo Regional Council on Wednesday night. “There is still a lot of work to be done but that is the target we are aiming at.”

READ MORE: 2 more light rail vehicles arrive in Kitchener

Staff provided a report to council which said that the first train with the specialized equipment needed to operate on the system was en route. It was shipped from Bombardier’s assembly plant in Kingston with the expectation it would arrive in Kitchener by early next week.

The report said, “this vehicle will allow GrandLinq to continue to test the integration of the tracks and controls.”

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A second train with the operating system will be tested next week to see if it will follow.

READ MORE: Bombardier inspecting ION LRVs to see if there are similar flaws to Toronto vehicles

“Assembly is complete on all of the vehicles, good progress is being made in the installation of the specialized equipment, and first vehicles are very close to achieving preliminary acceptance (a significant step in being ready to carry passengers),” the report stated.

Residents should continue to see vehicles around the city as testing and training will continue right up until launch day.

“We have trains out there every single day,” Schmidt said. “Between three and four are usually active training staff which is ongoing.”

There are also a number of events scheduled this fall which will allow residents an opportunity to get a closer look at the new LRVs.

“We have a number of public events planned into the fall where the public will have an opportunity to view the vehicle and board it,” he said.

The following is a list of planned events where the public can see the LRVs:

Sept. 6: Waterloo Fest (Waterloo Public Square station)
Sept. 19: University of Waterloo station (University of Waterloo station)
Oct. 4: Oktoberfest (Waterloo Public Square station)
Oct. 26: UW convocation (University of Waterloo station)
TBD: ION staff are working on an additional event in Kitchener
Dec. 7: Christkindl Market (Kitchener City Hall station)

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