First GO Train Out Of Barrie

December 17th, 2007

The wind and snow had barely subsided from a massive snow storm the day before as an eager crowd of commuters fumbled their way in the dark toward the new Barrie South GO Train platform.

First GO Train Out Of BarrieIt was quite a sight to see the big green and white engine thunder into the station after nearly two decades of quiet on the tracks from Barrie to Bradford.

Despite a technical issue with the automated ticket vending machine, the first trip was smooth and comfortable. For a 5:43am departure, the train was relatively full.

First GO Train Out Of Barrie - PlatformIt was a special day for me as I have been involved in the effort to help restore passenger rail service for many years – writing letters, sending emails and advocating for public transit on many different occasions.

The foresight in particular of the City of Barrie in deciding to purchase the right-of-way several years ago when CN suggested it was going to tear up the Bradford-Barrie line was instrumental in restoring the service. And although the partnership between GO Transit and the Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments had many ups and downs, I would like to thank all parties for their perseverance and their vision.

My hope is that the expansion of GO service will continue and that the old “Thunder Trains” will someday be replaced by faster, lighter and more frequent rapid transit equipment that will provide more frequent trips capable of traveling to Union Station in under an hour. After all – the idea here is to offer a superior alternative to the car.

Our Barrie station isn’t much, but it’s a start. Now let’s ensure that the trains are here in Barrie to stay this time.

4 Responses to “First GO Train Out Of Barrie”

  1. Andy Says:

    Thanks for the insight into the return of Go trains to Barrie. I have been wondering how the first day would be after a major snow storm. How far did you travel on the train and how long did it take?

  2. Scott McCrindle Says:

    Well – it took exactly 90 minutes to complete the run all the way from Barrie South Station to Union Station. I have been taking the train every Friday since it began (give or take a week or two) and I’m extremely impressed.

    The tough bit is then getting from the downtown core to my office in Etobicoke. This is where carpooling with business associates who live downtown comes in.

  3. Jabba Says:

    My Wife took th first Go Train Service from Barrie back in the early 90′s and it was a complete Joke! Today??? Same tracks, same switching, same stations… it isn’t any faster! Get this train going down the Don Valley and you will have a winner. Not till then I’m afraid :( Don’t fool the people here Mr. Train Lover Blogger :I(

  4. Scott McCrindle Says:

    @Jabba – You’re right about the speed, but much has happened between the early 90s and today. I found that with a netbook, I can now spend 90 minutes getting stuff done on the train. This sure beats being stuck in the car for 75 minutes. It’s all about spending time wisely.

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