New report could bring Kitchener closer to two-way, all-day GO Transit service

A GO Transit train travels along the Lakeshore line. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

The board of Metrolinx will receive a new report on Friday which could bring two-way, all-day GO Transit service between Kitchener and Union Station in downtown Toronto closer to reality.

The report offers up two options for getting the service to Kitchener.

READ MORE: Increased GO Transit service through Kitchener, Guelph begins Sept. 3

One suggestion is to build a freight bypass along Highway 407 which would allow GO trains to run along their own tracks for their entire route along the Kitchener corridor.

According to the study, this would take at least eight years to pull off and would also require $3.6 billion in capital costs although it would end interference from freight trains.

A second option the board is being asked to consider on Friday would see Metrolinx continue to use a CN Rail line from Bramalea through Georgetown stations.

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Rather than build the CN train lines, the business case says that it would add extra trains by making track, signal and structure improvements as well as adding additional platforms and tracks.

READ MORE: GO Transit bringing back afternoon express train to Kitchener

The total price tag on the changes would be just under a billion dollars in capital costs and could be completed within five years.

The report notes that the only downsides to this option are potential delays for riders caused by issues involving the freight trains.

Both plans would also see 20 minutes shaved from a commuter’s trip between Kitchener and Union Station.

At the moment, trains run fives times daily toward Toronto in the morning and then toward Kitchener in the evening with no weekend service.

READ MORE: Guelph boy, Kitchener woman hit by train in Kitchener

Once the update is complete, GO trains would run hourly to and from Kitchener and once every two hours on weekends.

The updates to the system would also see a new station built in Breslau.

If one of the two options were to gain approval on Friday from Metrolinx, it does not mean that shovels will hit the ground on Monday.

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It will then move to the preliminary design phase before heading into the procurement phase.

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