Barrie line

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Barrie
GO Transit logo.svg Barrie line GO logo.png
Car 2029 at Barrie South Platform.jpg
The Barrie South platform with BiLevel coach 2029
Overview
Type Commuter rail
System GO Train
Locale Greater Toronto Area
Daily ridership 17,000 (2014)[1]
Website Table 65
Operation
Opened September 7, 1982
Owner Metrolinx
Operator(s) GO Transit
Technical
Line length 63.0 miles (101.4 km)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Operating speed 80 miles per hour (130 km/h) [2]
Route map

Barrie is one of the seven train lines of the GO Transit system in the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada. It extends from Union Station in Toronto in a generally northward direction to Barrie, and includes ten stations along its 63 miles (101.4 km) route.[2] From 1982 to 1990 and again from 1993 to 2007, it was known as the Bradford line, named after its former terminus at Bradford Station until the opening of Barrie South Station.

The Barrie Line runs on the former Northern Railway of Canada route. This is the oldest operating railway line in Ontario, with passenger service beginning in 1853.[3]

History[edit]

In 1852, construction began on the Ontario, Simcoe and Huron Railway, which would run from Toronto to Collingwood.[4] The line opened on May 16, 1853, when passenger train service began operating between Toronto and Aurora (then Machell's Corners).[3] On October 11, 1853, service was extended to Allandale, then opposite Barrie on the south shore of Kempenfeldt Bay.[5]

In 1888, the Grand Trunk Railway took over operation of the line.[3] In 1923, the Canadian National Railway (CNR) inherited the bankrupt Grand Trunk Railway.

Commuter service planning[edit]

In 1968, MPP William Hodgson introduced a private member's bill to move that the government of Ontario establish GO Transit services north of Metro Toronto.[6] That year, a community group known as the GO North Committee distributed "GO North" stickers for motorists to adhere to their automobile's windshield to advocate for GO Transit commuter rail service north of Toronto.[7]

Planning for commuter services resulted in the establishment of the Newmarket Bus Terminal by 1970, from which commuters would be taken to the Richmond Hill GO Station to commute to Toronto.[8]

John Crawford Medcof, operating a company named Railroad Boosters, rented a train for one-day service between Barrie and Toronto on 16 October 1969,[9][10] earning a profit.[11] He gave the proceeds to the government of Ontario to support a north GO train service promised by John Robarts in late 1969, but asked for the government to return the money when the provincial government announced it would not establish a Richmond Hill line service in 1970.[12][10] He applied for a grant of C$97,200 from the federal government to operate a commuter train for twelve weeks, with one train leaving Barrie in the morning for Toronto, and a return trip at night.[11] The grant was approved per the government's local initiatives program in December 1971.[11] The train was operated by Canadian National Railways, and charged the same fares as those for the GO Transit bus service.[11] Another trial commuter service from Barrie to Toronto was operated in late 1972, carrying 13,483 passengers.[13]

In 1973, the Canadian Transport Commission held a public hearing at Georgian College[13] during which its three-member committee heard presentations from Medcof and councillors from all "municipalities between Toronto and Barrie".[14] All presentations favoured the creation of commuter train service between the two cities, including that of York—Simcoe MP Sinclair Stevens.[14]

On April 1, 1972, CN introduced commuter service from Barrie to Toronto, as required by the Canadian Transport Commission. The service was transferred to Via Rail in 1978.[15] As a result of federal government financial cutbacks to Via Rail, the service was transferred to the provincial government and integrated into the GO Transit network on September 7, 1982, but service only extended to Bradford.[15] On September 17, 1990, the line was extended to Barrie, but was again cut back to Bradford on July 5, 1993.

Service expansion[edit]

On September 8, 1998, GO Transit added a second daily round trip to the line. In the early 2000s, GO Transit opened four new stations on the line: Rutherford on January 7, 2001;[15] York University on September 6, 2002;[16] and East Gwillimbury on November 1, 2004.[17] In 2006, the number of daily trains on the line doubled again to four in each direction.[18]

In 2006, GO Transit built a bridge at the Snider diamond,[19] which is the junction between the Barrie Line and Canadian National's primary east-west freight line, the York Subdivision. Since CN controlled both corridors, the passage of passenger trains over the diamond was often delayed by freight trains passing through the intersection. Constructing the bridge and associated trackage resulted in a grade separation of the two lines, eliminating such delays. Construction of the bridge began in February 2006, and the bridge was opened in December 2006. The entire project was completed in June 2007.[20]

On December 17, 2007, the Bradford Line was extended to the new Barrie South GO Station and was renamed the "Barrie Line".[21] Construction had begun on February 2, 2007 to construct the new Barrie South station, a new layover facility and new tracks, signals and crossings along the existing 20 kilometres (12 mi) railway corridor. The project cost $25 million, funded by two thirds by the federal and provincial governments, and one third by the City of Barrie.[22]

On December 15, 2009, Metrolinx purchased the portion of the Newmarket subdivision within the City of Toronto from CN for $68 million. The Barrie line trackage, from Union Station to Barrie, is now fully owned by Metrolinx. As part of the agreement, the Canadian National Railway continues to serve five freight customers located on the Newmarket subdivision between Highway 401 and the CN York Subdivision.

On January 30, 2012, the Barrie line was extended north to the newly constructed Allandale Waterfront GO Station.[23]

In the summer of 2012, a pilot train service was introduced on weekends and holidays between June and September.[24] Two trains in each direction completed the entire route, while an additional four trains ran between Union Station and East Gwillimbury GO station.[25] The summer service cost C$520,000 to operate, including train crews, safety and enforcement, station staffing and fuel.[26] Bidirectional weekend service was offered again in summer 2013, with four trains in each direction covering the entire route from Toronto to Barrie, making all stops and having a bus connection at Rutherford GO Station for non-stop service to Canada's Wonderland.[26][27] It cost C$400,000 to operate.[26] For the summers of 2014, 2015 and 2016, the same train service was provided, but without non-stop buses to Canada's Wonderland, requiring those passengers to transfer instead to York Region Transit local bus service at Maple station.[28]

On December 31, 2016, year-round weekend train service was introduced with service every 75 minutes in both directions between Toronto and Aurora, including three daily trains per direction covering the full route between Toronto and Barrie.[29]

Stations[edit]

The Aurora station building is a federally designated heritage site

There are ten stations on the Barrie line, excluding the terminus at Union Station in Toronto.

In addition to Union Station, four station buildings along the Barrie Line are federally protected by the Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act. At Allandale Waterfront and Newmarket stations, historic station buildings remain but are used for other purposes, while at Aurora and Maple stations, the historic stations buildings continue to be in use.[30]

Station Opened Parking spots Notes
Allandale Waterfront January 28, 2012 120 Federally designated heritage railway station
Barrie South December 17, 2007 628
Innisfil Est. 2024
Bradford September 7, 1982 93
East Gwillimbury November 1, 2004 637
Newmarket September 7, 1982 265 Federally designated heritage railway station
Mulock Est. 2024
Aurora September 7, 1982 1,725 Federally designated heritage railway station
King City September 7, 1982 375
Kirby Est. 2024
Maple September 7, 1982 1,146 Federally designated heritage railway station
Rutherford January 7, 2001 983
York University September 6, 2002 0 To be closed upon opening of Downsview Park station
Downsview Park Est. 2018 Connection to TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg Yonge-University line
Caledonia Est. 2020 Connection to TTC - Line 5.svg Eglinton Crosstown line
Lansdowne Est. 2024 Connection to TTC - Line 2 - Bloor-Danforth line.svg Bloor-Danforth line
Spadina Est. 2024 Connection to BSicon CLRV.svg  510  Spadina streetcar
Union September 7, 1982 0

Services[edit]

The Barrie line has weekday service consisting of five trains southbound from Barrie and two trains southbound from Maple in the morning, and seven trains northbound to Barrie from Union Station in the afternoon.[31]

As of 2017, weekend service consists of 10 southbound and 9 northbound trains per day. Three trips in each direction cover the full route from Toronto to Barrie, while the remainder operate between Toronto and Aurora. Trips terminating in Aurora have connecting GO bus service to Barrie.[31]

During the times and directions that train service does not operate, service is provided by GO bus routes 63 (Toronto-King City), 65 (Toronto - Newmarket) and 68 (Newmarket - Barrie).[31]

The maximum speed on the line is 128 kilometres per hour (80 mph), between Bradford and Barrie South.[2] Trains are limited to 24 kilometres per hour (15 mph) in some parts, but can sustain speeds of at least 80 kilometres per hour (50 mph) over most of the line.[2]

Connections[edit]

The Barrie line makes connections with:

Future[edit]

Capacity expansion[edit]

Second track under construction in 2015 between Rutherford and York University stations

In April 2015, the government of Ontario announced that as part of a broad GO Transit expansion project called Regional Express Rail, service on the Barrie line would increase from 7 daily train trips to over 20 daily train trips by 2020.[32][a] The service expansion will also add 12 weekend trains in each direction by 2017, and 10 off-peak weekday trips in each direction by 2018.[32] The railway electrification system is expected to be completed by 2024 from Union Station in Toronto to Aurora.[32]

Starting in mid 2017, weekday service will be expanded from seven trains in each direction to 18 trains in each direction.[33]

Davenport Diamond grade separation[edit]

The Davenport Diamond is an at-grade rail-to-rail crossing of the GO Barrie line and east-west CP Rail North Toronto subdivision tracks near Davenport Road in Toronto. In order to increase service frequency on the Barrie Line, GO Transit has identified the need to remove the diamond and build a grade separated crossing. In 2015 Metrolinx initiated a Transit Project Assessment Process (an environmental assessment process specific to transit projects) based on the preferred option of construction an overpass to carry the GO line over the east-west CP Rail line. This process anticipates a start of construction in 2017.[34][35]

The grade separated crossing will be on a 1.5-kilometre (0.9 mi) long, 8.5-metre (28 ft) high rail bridge. It will lie between Bloor Street West and Saint Clair Avenue West parallel to Lansdowne Avenue. The bridge will allow GO Transit to run all-day, two-way service on the Barrie line without freight traffic disruptions. The project will cost $120 million.[36][37]

Additional stations[edit]

In the September 2015 planning document "New Station Analysis", an initial list of 22 potential GO station sites were identified. These were, from north to south, at Innisfil, Holland Yard, Mulock Drive, St John's Sideroad, Yonge Street, Bathurst Street at Side Road 15, Dufferin Street, Kirby Road, Keele Street at Teston Road, Langstaff Road, Highway 7, Steeles Avenue, Finch Avenue, Downsview Park, Wilson Avenue, Lawrence Avenue, Caledonia Road, Rogers Road, St Clair Avenue West, Davenport Road, Dupont Street, and Bloor Street.[38]

Of these, most were rejected as unsuitable, either because they were too close to other stations,[39] or for failing to meet other criteria, such as connections to other services, proximity to urban growth centres,[40] construction viability, urban density, or necessary infrastructure.[41] Others were rejected because they were considered for other lines on the network.[42] The final list of recommended candidate locations were the sites at Innisfil, Mulock Drive, Kirby Road, and a location between Davenport Road and Bloor Street, and Spadina Road.[43] Four sites were considered for either the Barrie line or the Kitchener line.[44] The sites at Highway 7 in Concord and at St Clair Avenue West were not included as part of the 10-year RER expansion, but are part of a future expansion program.[45] The candidate location Bathurst Street at Side Road 15 was deferred for future consideration.[46]

Stations have been approved in Vaughan for the Kirby Road site (serving the community of Hope), at Mulock Drive in Newmarket, and in Innisfil.[47] Under the Regional Express Rail initiative, new stations are planned in Toronto at Bloor Street West (near Lansdowne Avenue and Lansdowne subway station) and at Spadina Avenue near Front Street (with access to the CityPlace neighbourhood and 510 Spadina streetcars).[48]

Downsview Park Station[edit]

As part of the Yonge–University–Spadina line subway extension, a new GO station will be built to interchange with the Downsview Park subway station.[49] It will be located at the 17.1 kilometres (10.6 mi) track marker.[50] The York University station will be abandoned when the new station opens, which is expected to be in 2016.[51]

Caledonia Station[edit]

The design for Caledonia Station on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT includes provisions for a connection to the Barrie Line, including a pedestrian bridge above the Barrie line and provisions for elevator access to future GO platforms.[52] Metrolinx announced that an environmental assessment for the station would begin in the summer of 2015.[53]

Innisfil GO Station[edit]

Metrolinx is considering a station in Innisfil for a future expansion, to be located at approximately mile marker 52.00 miles (83.69 km).[54]

Metrolinx is analyzing two sites in Innisfil for a future GO station, both of which are in south-east Innisfil just east of Sideroad 20. One is at 5th Line near Lefroy’s Lormel subdivision and the other at 6th Line near the future Sleeping Lion development in south Alcona. Both locations are about 1.5 kilometres apart from one another.[55] Innisfil town council has stated its preference for the 6th Line location, and has approved use of $2 million to acquire land and $2.6 million to partially fund the station's construction.[56]

The location of a rail station has been controversial among residents and competing developers in the area. Metrolinx consults municipalities and the public, but selects site locations based on ridership, other transit connections and the cost to construct at a location. Innisfil is shortlisted with 50 other sites in the GTA, including 10 other possible locations on the Barrie line. Metrolinx has rated Innisfil as high for affordability of construction, but low for ridership.[55]

Concord Station[edit]

To provide an interchange with Viva, a bus rapid transit service in York Region, a new station will be built at Highway 7. The station is to be called Concord Station, after the Concord neighborhood in which it will be located.[57] The city of Vaughan has integrated the station into its design plans for a mixed use development near the intersection of Highway 407 and the rail corridor. Both the municipal government of Vaughan and the regional government of York have identified this location as a potential site for the station, which requires GO Transit to perform an environmental assessment.[58] In January 2013, Vaughan municipal clerk sent a Vaughan City Council resolution to York Regional Council requesting Metrolinx consideration for four priority projects, among them all-day two-way service on the Barrie line, creation of the Concord GO Station, and creation of a Kirby Road GO Station.[59]

Ridership[edit]

In 2012, the Barrie line served about 7,500 passengers a day,[60] or approximately 2 million per year. By 2008, the annual number of riders on the Barrie line was almost 3.1 million, an increase of 18% from 2007 and 167% from 2001.[61] About 2,300 of the 3,000 daily peak passengers to Union Station boarded at Aurora (about 1,000), Rutherford (about 800), and Newmarket (about 500) that year.[62]

The weekend summer service had 105 daily riders in 2012 (32,000 total for six trains per day), and 220 daily riders in 2013 (41,000 total for four trains per day).[63]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ As of April 2015, there are seven daily southbound weekday morning trains on the Barrie line, and seven daily northbound weekday evening trains.
  1. ^ "Regional Express Rail" (PDF). Metrolinx. 5 September 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Metrolinx 2010, p. 57.
  3. ^ a b c Town of Aurora.
  4. ^ Milland 2009.
  5. ^ Smith.
  6. ^ The Era 1968, p. 1.
  7. ^ Lade 1968, p. 1.
  8. ^ The Era 1969, p. 1.
  9. ^ Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees 1973.
  10. ^ a b The Era June 1970, p. 29.
  11. ^ a b c d Ottawa Citizen 1971, p. 21.
  12. ^ The Era 1970, p. 2.
  13. ^ a b The Era 1973, p. 2a.
  14. ^ a b The Era 1973, p. 5.
  15. ^ a b c Garcia & Bow.
  16. ^ Ministry of Transportation 2002.
  17. ^ Canada Newswire 2004.
  18. ^ GO Transit 2005.
  19. ^ GO Transit 2006.
  20. ^ GO Transit 2007.
  21. ^ GO Transit: New stations.
  22. ^ City of Barrie 2007.
  23. ^ Mackenzie 2012.
  24. ^ GO Transit: Seasonal service 2012.
  25. ^ GO Transit 2012.
  26. ^ a b c Burton 2013.
  27. ^ GO Transit: Barrie Seasonal Service 2013.
  28. ^ GO Transit 2014.
  29. ^ Government of Ontario 2016.
  30. ^ Parks Canada.
  31. ^ a b c "Barrie Line 2017" (PDF). GO Transit. 31 December 2016. Retrieved 25 December 2016. 
  32. ^ a b c Kalinowski 2015.
  33. ^ Gupta 2016.
  34. ^ Metrolinx - Project Overview May 2015.
  35. ^ Metrolinx - Display Boards May 2015.
  36. ^ Tess Kalinowski, Transportation reporter (7 August 2015). "GO gives city more time to consider giant rail bridge". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  37. ^ Tess Kalinowski, Transportation reporter (17 November 2015). "Metrolinx to move ahead with giant Davenport rail bridge". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  38. ^ Woo 2015, p. 19.
  39. ^ Woo 2015, p. 17.
  40. ^ Woo 2015, p. 22.
  41. ^ Metrolinx 2016, p. 11–12.
  42. ^ Woo 2015, p. 12.
  43. ^ Metrolinx 2016, p. 18.
  44. ^ Metrolinx 2016, p. 13.
  45. ^ Metrolinx 2016, p. 21-23.
  46. ^ Metrolinx 2016, p. 26.
  47. ^ Metrolinx 2016.
  48. ^ Spurr 2016.
  49. ^ Toronto Transit Commission 2010.
  50. ^ Metrolinx 2010, p. 157.
  51. ^ Metrolinx 2010.
  52. ^ Metrolinx 2013.
  53. ^ Metrolinx 2015.
  54. ^ Metrolinx 2010, p. 167.
  55. ^ a b Vanderlinde 2016.
  56. ^ CTV News 2016.
  57. ^ City of Vaughan 2013, p. 15.
  58. ^ City of Vaughan 2013, p. 16.
  59. ^ Kelly 2014, p. 2.
  60. ^ McInroy 2012.
  61. ^ Metrolinx 2010, p. 41.
  62. ^ Metrolinx 2010, p. 44.
  63. ^ Bruton 2013.

References[edit]

External links[edit]