davenport diamond metrolinx

Toronto transit line set to open this week was just delayed at the last minute

In typical Toronto fashion, a transit line's opening has been delayed, the news coming a mere days before the scheduled Monday start of GO Transit revenue service on Metrolinx's new Davenport Diamond Guideway.

Classic Toronto.

Earlier in March, Metrolinx quietly announced the coming start of service on the elevated rail line for Monday, March 27, 2023. But like every other transit project opening announced in recent memory, the plan has suffered an unexpected delay, and that previously-announced date will no longer be met.

Metrolinx announced on Friday morning, less than 72 hours before the first trains were supposed to zip along the new elevated guideway, rather predictably, that "the opening of the Davenport Diamond Guideway is postponed."

The guideway serves a key role in GO's mission of all-day, two-way service on the Barrie line. The Barrie line's intersection with the CP tracks on the city's west side remains one of the busiest rail intersections in North America, and the new infrastructure will allow passenger trains to bypass it entirely.

But unfortunately, the regional transit agency says in the course of planning and commissioning in preparation for the start of revenue service along the guideway, it "has identified additional tests, training, and procedures prior to running revenue service trains on the guideway."

The statement explains that "given this is a permanent switch from existing tracks to the new guideway, we want to be certain the system has gone through further testing and commissioning so there are no customer impacts."

Despite the delay in opening, there will be no inconveniences to commuters, as Metrolinx assures customers that "construction on the project and revenue service on the Barrie Line will continue while this planning work takes place."

"Metrolinx will provide customers and the local community an update before the trains make the switch to the new guideway."

The guideway's delay will come as a disappointment for locals who have had to contend with construction noise and restrictions, though, in the long run, it will pay off.

Areas long disconnected by the rail corridor will be reunited through a new linear park planned to run the length of the guideway's right of way.

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