John Thompson, Contributing Editor

John Thompson, Contributing Editor

John Thompson was born and grew up in Toronto, and studied journalism at the University of Toronto and, later, creative writing at Ryerson University. He joined the senior staff of the Toronto Transit Commission in 1977, subsequently becoming assistant editor of Coupler, the TTC’s employee magazine, as well as performing public relations and archival duties. Thompson has been a freelance writer and editor for 20 years, for the Toronto Star newspaper and numerous trade magazines (including Railway Age). He resides in Hamilton, Ontario.

Monday, 02 October 2017 09:06

Transit update, Toronto and Ottawa

Toronto’s Spadina Subway extension is scheduled to open for service in December, and the Canadian government’s transfer of funds from the proposed Sheppard East LRT to the approved Finch West LRT line may cancel the former. Meanwhile, Ottawa’s Confederation and Trillium LRT lines have been awarded C$3.6 billion for expansion.

The LRT scene in downtown Kitchener (Ontario) in early September 2017 reminds the visitor of an episode of “The Twilight Zone”: tracks complete but rusty and debris-filled; stations ready for passengers, but none to be seen.

Tuesday, 05 September 2017 12:06

Ontario LRT facing hurdles

Two of Ontario, Canada’s numerous light rail transit projects—the Kitchener-Waterloo ION and Hamilton Street Railway B Line—have been facing difficulties, albeit of a different nature. The former is still without functional LRVs; the latter is looking at potentially conflicting operating proposals.

Monday, 24 July 2017 11:47

Ontario transit update – Metrolinx

Metrolinx, the Ontario Government’s transit agency, has dropped its appeal of the court decision earlier this year that had prevented the authority from cancelling a C$770 million order with Bombardier for 182 Flexity Freedom LRVs.

Monday, 17 July 2017 14:22

Progress and setbacks in Ontario

Progress has been made on Metrolinx’s plan to electrify the GO Transit regional/commuter rail network. Meanwhile, major delays and controversy mark Bombardier’s streetcar contract with the Toronto Transit Commission.

Thursday, 15 June 2017 08:56

GO Transit goes golden

(Editor’s note: The following is the full version of a story published in the June issue of Railway Age.) It all began on a lovely Spring morning in 1967, Canada’s Centennial Year: Startup of North America’s arguably most successful new commuter rail service, GO Transit.

Wednesday, 03 May 2017 14:12

For Hamilton LRT, an extension

Hamilton, Ontario’s approved LRT line will be extended an additional 1.9 miles to its original eastern terminal, Eastgate Square, an east Hamilton shopping mall. The crosstown line will now total 8.7 miles.

Wednesday, 05 April 2017 09:21

Calgary, Edmonton adopt low-floor approach

The two pioneering Canadian LRT cities, Calgary and Edmonton, located in the western province of Alberta, are both planning a major shift in their design and operating philosophies.

Wednesday, 05 April 2017 08:11

Prototype Kitchener-Waterloo LRV on site

The first Bombardier Flexity Freedom LRV for the new Kitchener-Waterloo LRT line arrived Feb. 22, 2017, after a long journey by rail from the carbuilder’s plant in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) owns and operates more than 200 single-track miles of surface streetcar track, including loops, yards and carhouses. The TTC is responsible for its maintenance, as well as construction of extensions. The mileage has declined significantly from its peak of approximately 325 miles, due to abandonments over the decades, but the track still requires a concerted effort to maintain in satisfactory operating condition.

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