GO Transit tests faster speeds through Guelph to put recent rail improvements through paces

A GO test train will be used along Guelph rails this coming Sunday (June 27). The train, under very strict and safe measures, will be used to gather important data on increased speeds along the section. Here are the fast facts you need to know about, including the speeds involved.

Your eyes or senses aren’t fooling you, if you’re near Guelph rails next weekend and you see a GO Train moving a bit faster through the community than normal.

On Sunday (June 27), a special test train will be used to gather needed data as it travels along the section of corridor much faster than normal.

It’s safe but is indeed quicker than locals are used to.

Metrolinx corridor teams and their contractors have been working to repair, replace and upgrade infrastructure and essential signal technology along the Kitchener GO Line in support of future expansion in the region. Train speeds will start increasing slowly and incrementally to significantly reduce the journey time. Train speeds are expected to increase in Fall 2021 and more details will be shared with the community as those plans are confirmed. 

So on Sunday, experts will operate the test GO Train through the City of Guelph to move through level crossings where new signals have been installed – Glasgow St., Yorkshire St., Edinburgh Rd and Alma St. Residents will see crews in this area starting at 6 a.m. Testing will begin at 8 a.m. and will end at 4 p.m.

A GO train passes through a level crossing with the arm down letting people know to wait until the train passes through the area.
A GO train passes through a level crossing, similar to the ones in Guelph, with the arm down letting people know to wait until the train passes through the area. (Phillip Hall photo)

Residents will see more train activity on the rail corridor as the test train runs back and forth through the signals. Work should be complete in the early afternoon. Road closures are not expected as the train moves from end to end of the test area, and drivers and other road users won’t see much impact as they make their way across the tracks and through the city. But they may notice something a little different. Trains currently travel this section at around 16 km/h. The test train will move incrementally faster with each test through this section, up to 80 km/h.

Metrolinx is working with the City of Guelph to make sure area residents are informed about this test period as experts increase the speed, and frequency, of this train through the neighbourhood. Train speeds are expected to incrementally increase in Fall 2021 and more details will be shared with the community as those plans are confirmed.

Stay Safe

Those rail experts have put a host of safety measures in place for the test train. But local residents also play a part in keeping everyone safe and are reminded that entering the rail corridor or crossing at non-designated areas is very dangerous and against the law.

You’ll see extra staff and contractors at each level crossing being tested to monitor and direct traffic where needed, and Metrolinx community relations staff will be in the area to let neighbours know about the dangers of crossing or travelling on the rail right-of-way.

Now that we have your attention, are you interested in our recent story about future service enhancements in the City of Guelph on the Kitchener GO Line? Click here.

Story by Jessica Scott, Metrolinx Community Relations and Issues Specialist