VIA and GO trains meet at Brampton Station
In 1967, GO Transit launched a new rail service between Pickering and Hamilton. The new commuter train service was made possible as GO just built a new freight bypass so its trains could avoid Downtown Toronto and connect to a new sorting yard in Vaughan. Today, trains on the Lakeshore Line operate as frequently as every fifteen minutes during weekdays, and every half hour on weekends. Unfortunately for Brampton, that freight bypass built in the 1960s runs right through its downtown core, limiting the number of passenger trains that can serve Brampton, Guelph, and Kitchener.
Last December, the provincial government cancelled plans for a new freight bypass that would have diverted CN trains from a critical section of track in Brampton, allowing for frequent GO and intercity services. Around the same time, a new GO Transit schedule resulted in extreme overcrowding and extended delays on the Kitchener Line. As population and ridership grows, there are few answers and little promise of relief that the freight bypass would have provided.
In my debut article for Bramptonist, I comment on the future of the Kitchener Line, the only GO line serving Ontario’s fourth largest city and an important commuter link to Guelph and Kitchener-Waterloo. What can Brampton expect now that the freight bypass is dead?