Lakeshore West and Barrie weekend GO train service affected by construction projects

Important construction work is happening this weekend (Nov. 20-21) on the Lakeshore West and Barrie GO Lines. The work means there will be no Lakeshore West train service between Oakville and Union Station for the majority of the weekend – but there are some special Lakeshore West trains running Saturday evening.  Metrolinx News is giving GO customers a heads up about the temporary schedule changes and explaining why this work is needed.

Important construction work is happening this weekend that will impact travel on the Lakeshore West and Barrie GO Lines.

Beginning on Saturday, Nov. 20, until the end of service on Sunday, Nov. 21, most Lakeshore West GO train service will be suspended between Oakville and Union Station so construction crews can safely work to replace older sections of track. These upgrades will improve train speeds, service life, and reliability.

By shutting down this portion of the tracks, construction crews can safely and efficiently get a lot of work done over the course of the weekend.

In particular, work continues on the Canpa switch plant, an important section of track and switches for GO trains on the Lakeshore West Line. The Canpa switch is particularly vital as it keeps GO trains running smoothly on the busiest line in the network. It also helps route trains into GO’s Willowbrook rail maintenance facility, the VIA maintenance facility, the Canpa spur, and more.

Construction crews use a large crane to place new tracks along the Lakeshore West Line near Long Branch GO - part of the Canpa switch plant.
Construction crews use a large crane to place new tracks along the Lakeshore West Line near Long Branch GO – part of the Canpa switch plant. (Metrolinx photo)

For customers heading to the Leaf game or another event on the Lakeshore West Line on Saturday night, there are GO train options for you. There will be one eastbound train leaving Aldershot GO at 4:55 p.m. and one leaving West Harbour GO at 5:13 p.m. to get people downtown. To get customers home, there will be two westbound trains heading to West Harbour GO, leaving Union Station at 10:35 p.m. and 10:50 p.m.

A heads up to Lakeshore West customers that use Long Branch, Mimico, or Exhibition GO stations, there will be no GO service at these stations during most of this weekend’s service disruption. Customers looking to connect to Union Station can take the TTC (streetcar and buses). Use Triplinx to plan your route.

There will be no Niagara train service during this time. Customers travelling between Niagara Falls and Burlington can connect with GO bus Route 12 service. Customers who have purchased a WEGO ticket for this weekend can still board replacement buses with their ticket. If customers wish to be issued a refund, please contact GO Transit’s customer service team to assist.

There will also be temporary changes to Barrie train service on Saturday, Nov. 20. Some trains will not stop at stations between Allandale Waterfront to Bradford GO.

Here are the details on everything GO customers need to know.

Saturday, Nov. 20 – Sunday, Nov. 21 – Lakeshore West:

There will be no Lakeshore West train service from Union Station to Oakville GO except for the trips listed above. Train service between West Harbour and Oakville GO will run hourly.

Eastbound to Union Station

  • West Harbour-Oakville train service will depart West Harbour GO hourly beginning at 5:13 a.m. until 11:13 p.m.
  • Buses will be available to take customers between Oakville GO and Union Station Bus Terminal
    • Replacement bus service will run at regular hourly intervals departing from Oakville GO to Clarkson GO, Port Credit GO and Union Station Bus Terminal beginning at 5:56 a.m. until 11:56 p.m.
  • For service from St. Catharines and Niagara Falls, customers can use GO bus Route 12 and connect with train service at Burlington GO

Westbound to Aldershot/West Harbour

  • Oakville-West Harbour train service will run hourly beginning at 7:25 a.m. until 1:25 a.m.
  • Buses will be available to take customers between Union Station Bus Terminal and Oakville GO
    • Replacement bus service will run at regular hourly intervals departing from Union Station Bus Terminal to Port Credit, Clarkson and Oakville GO beginning at 6:30 a.m. until 12:25 a.m.
  • For service to Niagara Falls and St. Catharines, customers can transfer at Burlington GO to GO bus Route 12
Looking down the new tracks with unique concrete rail ties
Looking down the new tracks with unique concrete rail ties. (Metrolinx photo)

Information for Long Branch, Mimico, and Exhibition GO customers

Replacement buses will not service Exhibition, Mimico, and Long Branch GO stations during service disruptions except for the four train trips on Saturday afternoon. If you require service from these GO stations, you have the following options:

  • From Long Branch GO: Take TTC bus route 501 Queen streetcar to Osgoode Station and transfer to TTC Line 1 to Union Station. Total time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • From Mimico GO: Take TTC bus route 76 Royal York to Royal York Station and transfer to TTC Line 2 to St. George and TTC Line 1 to Union Station. Total time: 1 hour
  • From Exhibition GO: Take TTC bus route 509 streetcar to Union Station. Total time: 26 minutes

Bus replacement details – Lakeshore West

To ensure GO bus drivers can be assigned to regularly scheduled GO bus trips, Metrolinx is working with Coach Canada to help get customers where they need to go.

Coach Canada and GO buses will be available at Oakville, Clarkson, and Port Credit GO Station bus loops to get customers where they need to go on the Lakeshore West line.

GO staff will be on site to help guide customers and answer questions.

The Where’s My Bus service will not be available for replacement buses.

For customers not familiar with taking the GO bus, the bus terminal at Union Station is located at 81 Bay Street in Toronto at the north-east corner of Bay and Lake Shore Boulevard.

  • To access the terminal from outside – enter via the main entrance on Lake Shore Boulevard, just east of Bay Street or the entrance on the east side of Bay Street, across from Scotiabank Arena
  • If you’re coming from Union Station, you can take the indoor pedestrian bridge over Bay Street that connects to the bus terminal from Scotiabank Arena
  • Learn more about boarding at the new Union Station Bus Terminal
  • Please check departure boards before proceeding to your boarding zone and gate
GO buses will help get customers where they need to go during weekend track construction. (Metrolinx photo)

Saturday, Nov. 20 – Barrie:

Northbound to Allandale Waterfront:

  • The 8:53 a.m., 11:53 a.m., 2:53 p.m. and 5:53 p.m. trains from Union Station to Allandale Waterfront GO will end at Aurora GO
  • Customers travelling to Newmarket, East Gwillimbury, Bradford, Barrie South, and Allandale Waterfront GO stations can connect to GO bus Route 68 service at Aurora GO to continue their trips
  • One Route 68 bus trip will be added to connect to the train ending at Aurora GO at 9:44 a.m.
    • This bus will depart Aurora GO at 9:52 a.m. and arrive at Allandale Waterfront GO at 11:04 a.m.
    • Departure times at GO stations are 13-30 minutes later than regularly scheduled train.
  • Three Route 68B bus trips will be adjusted to Route 68 trips
    • These bus trips will depart Aurora GO at 12:52 p.m., 3:52 p.m., and 6:52 p.m. and arrive at Allandale Waterfront GO at 2:22 p.m., 5:22 p.m. and 8:22 p.m.
    • Departure times at GO stations are 13-38 minutes later than regularly scheduled trains
A Barrie Line GO train passes through a level crossing in Toronto
A Barrie Line GO train passes through a level crossing in Toronto. (Metrolinx photo)

Southbound to Union Station:

  • The 11:08 a.m., 2:08 p.m., 5:08 p.m., and 8:08 p.m. trains from Allandale Waterfront to Union Station will start at Aurora GO
    • Customers travelling from Allandale Waterfront, Barrie South, Bradford, East Gwillimbury, and Newmarket GO stations can use GO bus Route 68 service to connect to train service at Aurora GO
    • Four Route 68B bus trips will be adjusted to Route 68 trips
      • These bus trips will depart Allandale Waterfront GO at 10:22 a.m., 1:17 p.m., 4:17 p.m. and 7:17 p.m. and arrive at Aurora GO at 11:42 a.m., 2:42 p.m., 5:42 p.m. and 8:42 p.m.
      • Departure times at GO stations are 22-46 minutes earlier than regularly scheduled trains

Pay before you board with these easy options

  • Buy your GO Transit tickets online to enjoy the ease and convenience of a GO Transit e-ticket or take advantage of one of the GO Transit Weekend Pass options
  • Ticket vending machines are available at stations to purchase a paper ticket
  • Mobile users – either using Android or an iPhone – can instantly load funds and passes onto your PRESTO card
  • PRESTO machines will be available for you to use at West Harbour, Aldershot, Burlington, Oakville and Clarkson GO bus loops
    • Eastbound: Tap on the PRESTO device at you originating station and tap off on devices located in Union Station Bus Terminal
    • Westbound: Tap on the PRESTO device at Union Station Bus Terminal or your originating station and tap off on the station PRESTO machines at your destination 
    • Customers with default trips on their PRESTO Card will need to override their default by pressing the “Override” button on the PRESTO device, then tap your card as you normally would

GO Transit officials recommend Lakeshore West and Barrie Line customers plan ahead before leaving the house as trips could take longer than usual. This includes checking the GO Transit website for updates.

Use the GO Transit trip planning tool or find station specific schedules here.

Story by Frank Paul, Metrolinx customer communications senior team lead