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GO train speeds to more than quadruple through Guelph

Move intended to 'allow for more efficient service and better on time performance,' says spokesperson
20210319 GO Train in Guelph 2
GO train at Guelph Central Station. GuelphToday file photo

With a number of upgrades to the system now in place or in the works, Metrolinx is slated to more than quadruple the pace of GO trains through the city.

Beginning later this month, travel speeds will rise in increments, reaching 72 km/h on Dec. 6.

“Actual train speeds will continue to be dictated by operational needs, but the increased limits will allow for more efficient service and better on time performance,” explained spokesperson Ross Andersen in an email. 

“The final speed was selected based on track and corridor geometry, and the capabilities of the infrastructure in the area to safely sustain the speeds.”

At the moment GO trains are restricted to 16 km/h through Guelph. 

On Oct. 25, that will rise to 32 km/h, followed by a jump to 48 km/h on Nov. 15 and finally 72 km/h on Dec. 6.

“Safety is central to everything we do at Metrolinx, and we will continue working with communities to make sure that residents are aware of the importance of only using designated crossings as well as changes to our services,” said Andersen. 

“The signals infrastructure was recently upgraded in the area to ensure that it will function safely at the increased speeds. Fencing was also installed to separate the corridor from the public and to prevent trespassing.”

Work to replace the Speed River bridge, east of Guelph Central Station, began in July with a variety of weekend closures expected to last through Nov. 7. Additional work is expected at the Norfolk and Wilson street bridges this fall.

In June, Metrolinx conducted speed tests through the city to study response times for signaling systems and crossing equipment. 

“The tests …(showed) it was safe to increase speeds in the area,” said Andersen. “There is no higher risk at this location than any other railway crossing or location across the GO network.”

A travel time review is planned for December, Andersen noted, which could lead to updated journey times and schedules for the next round of service changes.


Richard Vivian

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