Ontario’s first new LRT line began public operation on Friday, June 21, 2019, in the twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo. K-W, as it is known locally, is about 60 miles northwest of Toronto, on CN’s Toronto-London secondary line. The LRT operates under the brand name of ION.
Contract operator Keolis North America on June 21 launched the long-awaited ION Light Rail Transit (LRT) at Kitchener’s Fairway Station.
On June 21, 2019, the long-awaited ION LRT will formally enter revenue service for Ontario, Canada’s Waterloo Region. Leading up to the start of service, Bombardier Flexity LRVs will be operating in daytime service mode, with trains every 10 or so minutes.
The Kitchener-Waterloo ION light rail system in western Ontario Province, Canada, will miss its most recent revenue service startup date in December. The opening, which was originally scheduled for December 2017 and then postponed until April 2018, has once again been pushed back until at least spring 2019, due to LRV-related delays. No specific date has been scheduled.
LRV testing on the new Kitchener-Waterloo (Ontario) LRT line has been ongoing since late 2017.
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.
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.
The jinx that has bedeviled timely delivery of Toronto’s new low-floor LRVs has now struck the Kitchener-Waterloo ION LRT, presently under construction. Meanwhile, the final alignment for Hamilton’s new B Line LRT is close to confirmation.
The Region of Waterloo, which includes the twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo in Southwestern Ontario, plans to build a $43 million dollar transit center to connect with the city’s new ION LRT line, currently under construction.