It seemed, for a time, that the ION train
had joined the Winds of Winter, Half Life
3, and the PAC expansion in the hellish
limbo of suspended projects– but now the
dismal veil has been torn aside and a ray
of hope shines through the grey mists. The
PAC expansion has progressed beyond a
pit in the ground, George RR Martin has
announced a tentative deadline of August
2020 for the Winds of Winter, and the ION
Train– praise be to God– actually has a
grand opening date!
The project was slated for completion in
July of 2017. This, very naturally, did not
happen, courtesy of Bombardier, and students were, instead, treated to a seemingly
interminable round of testing from mid-
2018 onwards. This minor inconvenience
cost the region upwards of twenty million
dollars– but, as they say, all’s well that
ends well, and the trains are, at last, here.
Service will commence on the light rail
on June 21, 2019. It will run from Conestoga Mall to the University of Waterloo, and
from there to Fairway Station through Uptown Waterloo and Downtown Kitchener.
Hereafter, students will be able to enjoy a
smooth and peaceable train ride to the mall
after class, where they will be able to loiter
about the food court and peruse the inadequately stocked Indigo. This also represents a victory for students living in Uptown Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge,
who may gain about a dozen minutes of
sleep every morning without missing significantly more class.
The train is scheduled to run every eight
to ten minutes during weekdays and 15 to
30 minutes during the evenings and week-
ends. Given the marvelous competence
thus displayed, it is much to be wondered
if this hopelessly optimistic schedule will
bear any resemblance to reality– but, until
the ION train is actually unveiled, we may
all shelter in sweet fantasies.
Unfortunately, the unveiling of ION will
lead to major changes in bus schedules. A
whole panoply of routes will be ‘stream-
lined’, extended, split or discontinued,
beginning on June 24 2019. The unhappy
denizens who live all along Columbia will
probably suffer for want of the 7E, which
has been a cherished community institution since time immemorial. Its loss will
probably be keenly mourned, not least for
students who have 8:30 lectures.
Another point of collateral: the students
who have courses in their newer engineer-
ing buildings, or who need to fi nd solace
in the plaza in between classes. They are
apt, now, to fi nd their path obstructed more
than previously. Especially to be pitied are
those who are still incapable of finding
their way to and from the E7 bridge without getting lost, or those too lazy to climb
a dozen of fl ights of stairs. They may find
consolation in one fact, however; if they
get hit by a train, they need not pay off the
rest of their tuition.
This is by no means the end of ION.
Stage Two of the ION project will see the
LRT system extended to downtown Cam-
bridge. This project is still in its planning
phases, having only been greenlit recently
by the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce,
and will probably remain thus at least until
A Dream for Spring is published.
It may well transpire that this article is as
pointless as Naomi Wolf’s book; we may
wake on the morning of June 20th to find
that the opening is now scheduled for February 31st 2023.