Bombardier/ION Update

Gabrielle Klemt - 2A Geological
Posted on: January 14, 2017

As we all are painfully aware, ION has now been under construction for some time. Whether it’s ancient roads of archeological significance or delays in car production, here we are in a new year still without the ION light rail line. Way back in May 2016, Bombardier pinky-promised that we’d get the trains by 2018 and that Waterloo’s rail service would be up-and-running by early 2018. So, now with just a year left on the clock, what’s happening?

Let’s start off with the closing of closures. If you’ve spent much time in Waterloo over the last year, you’ll be aware that Uptown has been quite seriously “rewired” and much of the street around the downtown area was totally torn up, rerouting buses, cars, bikes, and foot traffic. I am glad to say that this is now at an end and construction has moved on to the LAST 10%.

What have they been doing since construction started at (what feels like) the beginning of time? Well, according to ION’s update, they’ve laid down 56 km of piping, 34 km of LRT track, and have put in about 68% of the poles, which will provide electric power to the trains. Apparently, all of this was part of Stage 1, and as we entered 2017, we also entered Stage 2, which I think makes the whole thing sound a lot less muddy and dull and a lot more like an adventure game!

What’s Stage 2? According to ION, Stage 2 will involve converting the rapid transit bus service between Kitchener and Cambridge to LRT. This is good news all around, unless you commute from Cambridge every day, which I hope you are not doing as a student! It also means easier access to those reclusive Architecture students—who knows, maybe they’ll actually come to some of our events now! Ahaha, who am I kidding, they don’t come to our events because they don’t come to any events, we can’t change that! (Please don’t come for me, Architecture students. My dad was an architect, so I understand you.)

What else is new from ION? WINTER CARE PACKAGES—that’s what’s new!! Now I don’t know about you, but as a student, I am all about free stuff, and ION just made my new year so much better by offering ION/GRT-themed hats, mitts, and mugs to random strangers waiting for the bus! If anyone is not about free stuff and happens to get this, I’ll accept your free mug—no questions asked!

They also included a fun before/after of the Conestoga ION stop, so get ready to start making your commute by Light Rail, people—the change is coming!