|Wednesday, May 17, 2006||Barrie Advance|
On the rails
- Barrie had a GO Train in the early 1990s. One train a day left the Allandale station on Tiffin Street shortly after 6a.m. Monday to Friday. It returned between 5p.m. and 6p.m.
- In 1992, the service was cancelled.
- In 1996, CN announces it is discontinuing service through Barrie. The last train, a transcontinental passenger trains, rolls through town in the fall, after being involved in a fatal accident at a level crossing near Newmarket.
- Shortly afterwards, in a quickly-arrived at decision, Barrie City Council, with the help of the province, purchases the rail corridor between Allandale and Bradford to prevent the line being torn up by CN. The line north of the Allandale station, through the downtown and up through Oro-Medonte Township is immediately removed by CN, sold and shipped to India.
- By 2002, there is talk that GO rail service may be extended north to Barrie again. However, considerable remediation work is required to bring the rail line up to standard. Plus, 23 level crossings between Barrie and Bradford would have to be brought up to Transport Canada standards.
- March 2003. In a story first published in The Toronto Star, the federal government announces that GO Transit will receive $1.2 billion over the next five years to improve and extend rail service throughout the GTA and southern Ontario. The news, allegedly leaked without authorization, causes some consternation to both provincial and municipal officials.
- February 2004. "The first (GO) train will leave Barrie in the fall of 2005," says Jack Garner. "And if all goes well, we hope to reduce that time by four to six months.
- May 2004. A co-operative funding agreement between the federal government is struck, as part of a $1.05 billion commitment by Ottawa to improve 12 GO construction projects in southern Ontario, including the long-awaited Bradford to Barrie line. Barrie MP Alleen Carroll says, "the return of commuter rail to the city of Barrie is most welcome indeed. This trilevel government initiative is an example of the 'New Deal' for municipalities."
- 2004 to present. Behind-the-scenes talks (arguments) continue between the three levels of government.
Stations: Allandale, Bradford