GO Transit Regional Express Rail
Regional Express Rail (RER) is a 10-year project that will add all-day, two-way GO Train service to more of the GO network along with increased frequencies. Some lines will see off-peak frequencies of 15 minutes. RER will be implemented on the Barrie line, Kitchener line, Lakeshore East line, Lakeshore West line, and Stouffville line
Included in the project is electrification of the core sections of the network. Metrolinx has recognized that the use of Electric Multiple Units (EMUs) will be an important factor in achieving the goals of fast and frequent travel with RER. EMUs can accelerate and brake faster than locomotives pulling unpowered coaches. They can also achieve higher speeds. Metrolinx hopes that the flexibility of EMUs will also result in an increase in efficiency of operations. GO Transit would still retain the existing BiLevel cars, which will be hauled by electric locomotives, for peak operations.
When GO Transit began train service in 1967, they operated four trainsets at rush hour and one during midday on what are now the Lakeshore East and Lakeshore West lines. Weekend service followed a few months later as well as additional trainsets. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, GO Transit added more lines to their network. Many of these lines were taken over from Canadian National and VIA Rail. Aside from the Lakeshore and Georgetown lines, service operates only during rush hour and in one direction. This is largely due to a variety of constraints, mostly infrastructure related.
On November 28, 2008, the Metrolinx Board of Directors voted unanimously to adopt this The Big Move, a regional transportation plan for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). The report identified the all-day, two-way GO train service as a priority. Since then, various levels of government have invested in a number of projects to improve GO Transit. One of the largest has been the Georgetown South Project which has added capacity to the corridor and facilitated the Union Pearson Express. Train lines have also been extend, including the Georgetown line to Kitchener and Barrie line further into Barrie.
In 2014 Premier Kathleen Wynne affirmed the commitment to all-day, two-way GO train service. Dubbed Regional Express Rail, Metrolinx began planning for the delivery of the project over the next ten years. The Provincial Government comitted $15 billion to transit infrastructure, part of which will go towards RER. The year prior, infrastructure upgrades allowed increased off-peak frequency (30 minutes instead of 60) on the Lakeshore lines. In 2015, GO reintroduced mid-day service on the Kitchener line, operating as far as Mount Pleasant.
- REGIONAL EXPRESS RAIL (RER) presentation. 05 September 2014. Metrolinx.