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Region, Bombardier and GrandLinq working on new ION train schedule "that can be relied on"

Photo courtesy of Tom Galloway.

We might be waiting longer than expected for ION trains to pull into the station, as regional officials are hinting the start date may get pushed back.

Just three of 14 trains are currently in Waterloo Region, according to senior project manager Brendon Simon.

Bombardier will ship three more trains in the next month or so, but Simon says getting them delivered is only half the battle.

“For launch, we need to complete a series of tests still to make sure the system is very functional and works reliably,” he says.

Regional councillor Tom Galloway says this means the promised spring 2018 launch date might be further out of reach.

“Some of the work is now going to be done in Kingston by Bombardier, but the equipment that needs to be installed to marry up with the electronics in the track system — that needs to be done,” Galloway says. “And then they have to be burned in for 600 kilometres. That doesn’t take too terribly long, but all of it does take time.”

Municipal staff are currently working with GrandLinq and Bombardier to put together a more realistic schedule, says Galloway, “a more up-to-date schedule that can be relied on.”

“We’ll have to wait and see what they are able to get out of Bombardier in terms of the delivery, and then in terms of how quickly GrandLinq can get the equipment installed,” Galloway says. “That’s what’s being discussed now with those partners.”

A report with that information — and hopefully a firm launch date — will go to council on April 18th.

So will you be able to take an ION train this spring as promised? “Stay tuned for the report,” says Simon.