Friday, December 22, 2017

Merry Christmas y'all (and to you donkeys, too)

From my family (that's my 12 year old being a tree) to yours, have a safe and happy holiday season.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Rides on GO Transit free this New Year's Eve after 7pm

Trains will run on a Sunday schedule throughout the day and then free in the evening.

More info here.

ICYMI: TTC discounts using Presto begin January 7

Let's relive 2015

Like a broken record, the Lakeshore GO line has been plagued with broken switches. It's Groundhog Day!

It's like living in 2015 again!

There's been no outreach from GO Transit or Metrolinx to passengers who have been extremely inconvenienced by this issue. The lastest break occurred, again, along the stretch between Oshawa and Whitby. I was on the 4:30 pm train from Union last night and that train made it into Oshawa without any issues. Trains after it weren't so lucky. Crews worked all afternoon and into the evening repairing the switch.

It appears to be holding up as there were no problems this morning.

On Twitter there were lots of questions about why this is happening, why it keeps breaking, why can't it just be fixed and be done with it? I've been told it all comes down to what's needed to keep the system running in order to prevent a full scale shutdown of service, forcing passengers east of Whitby to use Whitby GO as the starting/ending point. Can you imagine? Passengers would lose their minds.

Hopefully the fact that the next two weeks should see lighter than normal passenger traffic and they can shut down the line to permanently fix the problem without inconveniencing thousands of passengers.

I don't have answers for how this is logistically done. I'm just a passenger, not a railroad expert. However, I think I could find the patience needed to figure out how to get to work if a shutdown was needed to permanently fix the problem.

An update to the Metrolinx not being a nice neighbour story

Backstory <

Metrolinx RER Public Consultations Ignore Resident’s Concerns

Longboat Avenue residents have submitted a formal complaint to the Ontario Minister of the Environment to dispute the recent approval of the Metrolinx RER Electrification Environmental Report ( Residents were blind-sided by this approval as consultations were ongoing. This approval may contravene the MoE Environmental Assessment Process (

As part of the Regional Express Rail plan, Metrolinx is proposing to add a new track, E0, along the Union Station Rail Corridor East. This track will run within 15 meters of public and private housing and businesses, including a daycare center. Residents have expressed concerns relating to safety, noise, pollution and environmental degradation. Metrolinx has provided inaccurate and incomplete information to residents. Metrolinx  did not provide the required notifications with respect to the RER Environmental Report. Metrolinx is deliberately ignoring public safety and environmental concerns. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Could be fun times getting home tonight

From: GO Transit [
Sent: Monday, December 18, 2017 10:57 AM
Subject: Lakeshore East Disruption

Due to a switch problem there are no trains between Whitby and Oshawa. GO Buses will take passengers between Whitby and Oshawa until further notice. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Has it been all for nothing? This blog? NOOOOOOOOOO ... despite the feigned ignorance at the Townhall, Metrolinx senior management are indeed aware of this website and my existence (you just need to catch up on Twitter)

This email.

date:Wed, Dec 13, 2017 at 2:19 PM
subject:metrolix townhalls


If I werre you I would be concerned that people who are supposed to be listening to their passengers would not know who the #1 GO train blogger is. Your own website claims the site is read by transit agencies and don't you think your honesty is now being questioned? Has it been all for nothing? 


(Love the site by the way)

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Barrie GO Train passengers to get a boost in service

Metrolinx is moving forward with our expansion and transformation of the GO Transit network with new and improved service on the Barrie corridor.

Starting December 30, Barrie line passengers will see new midday and evening service from Monday to Friday, in both directions between Aurora and Union Station, and more weekend service, too. There will also be extra morning, afternoon and late evening train service between Bradford GO Station and Union Station.

Customers will also have the opportunity to connect easily to the TTC subway at the new Downsview Park station. Downsview Park GO station is integrated with the TTC’s Line 1 subway expansion. All Barrie line trains will make stops at the new Downsview Park GO Station beginning December 30.

We are also opening a new GO bus terminal at the new Highway 407 Station on the TTC Line 1 subway extension to give customers better connections.

GO bus customers should check the new schedules as several routes are being realigned to serve the new Highway 407 Station on the TTC Line 1 extension.  There are also some changes to Barrie GO bus services to improve schedule reliability and provide better connections with expanded train service on the Barrie line. 

Key Facts:
·         GO will now run 230 train trips per week on the Barrie line, up from 118
·         Downsview Park GO Station is GO’s 66th station
·         There will be nearly six times as much service for passengers on the Barrie line as there was 10 years ago

For a summary of all service additions and schedule changes, visit

Monday night, 11 passengers were trapped in an elevator at Whitby GO for close to 2 hours

You'd have to be a very fast runner, anyway

Is this GO bus message for dogs or people? #gotransit

A post shared by Tim Lemieux (@timlemule) on

Interesting... GO Transit's fare evasion rate is less than 1% (as per a 2014 report)

Whoever has promoted the blog, I thank you

I haven't seen numbers like this on posts for well over a year....

Let's not forget about the other Ontario taxpayers who subsidize our commute

The woeful saga of switches and signals

Winter is just starting folks, and, due to mild winters since the last deep freeze of 2014, it appears Metrolinx has forgotten about GO Transit and its system.

This week has been unacceptable. Trespassing incidents aside, there is no excuse for shoddy maintenance or neglect. Asking passengers who pay close to $400 a month to get to work to have patience, and to continue have patience, is disrespectful. It is not fair to those of us who get into work one to two hours late, and then have to stay late to make up the time, only to face switch issues on the way home, whereas five hours of our day was spent commuting is... well, it's just plain wrong.

This was raised at the Townhall on Tuesday night and Metrolinx's management team accepted responsibility, admitted it wasn't right and pledged to do better. And on Twitter, Metrolinx's media spokesperson admitted there were failings. Accountability is important but admitting failure means striving to do better. We've got four more months of inclimate weather to get through. Winter comes every year. Winter happens in other countries with far more extensive commuter networks and their switches and signals operate quite fine.

Enough with bad winters, Metrolinx. Let's work on making winter on the GO better.

I also realized that at the end of the year board meeting for Metrolinx, there was no fare increase. Considering we got slammed in September, and with the woeful service issues this month, there would have been a full scale riot if they even tried to push one through for next February. We pay enough. We're also tired of learning about $100 million dollar cost overruns on Metrolinx projects. You can't have this kind of mismanagement of infrastructure and then come begging with your hand out to the passengers inconvenienced by these boondoggles *cough* Burlington *cough* for more money.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

‘Ask Metrolinx’ Town Hall Draws New Ideas, Shared Concerns

TORONTO: December 13, 2017 – Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster hosted the first “Ask Metrolinx” town hall on Tuesday night, giving the public an opportunity to put their questions about transit and transportation in the GTHA directly to both him and the senior management team.
Two-thirds of the questions were asked live by the audience in the room at Union Station and via our livestream feed. The other questions were chosen by the public from 170 submitted online. Senior leaders listened intently as interested community members shared their issues and concerns, their ideas and suggestions, and committed to a number of follow-up meetings in communities around the GTHA.

Topics included:
  • Dealing with service disruptions
  • Managing poorly performing contractors
  • Where fare dollars go
  • Electrification and hydrogen technology
  • New stations and accessibility
  • Parking (stop building parking structures or build more)
  • Noise mitigation both for service increases and construction

Town Hall by the numbers:
  • 170 questions were submitted online ahead of the event
  • 733 votes on their favourite question
  • 35 questions submitted through livestream
  • 75+ people attended the town hall
  • 100+ watched livestream

A video of the town hall will be posted online at All questions submitted will be answered over the coming weeks. In addition, Phil Verster committed to making the town halls a regular event to encourage public participation and feedback.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

‘Ask Metrolinx’ Town Hall an Opportunity to Engage with Senior Management

Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster is hosting the first “Ask Metrolinx” town hall to give the public direct access to both him and his senior management team to answer questions about transit and transportation in the GTHA.

This is an opportunity for our neighbours, customers and community members to engage directly with leaders at Metrolinx as we move forward with planning, building and operating the region’s transportation system. 

Here are the ways you can engage with us:
·         Questions can be submitted online at – or asked in real-time (online or in-person).
·         Participants will have the opportunity to prioritize the questions submitted online by voting for their favourites at the week leading up to the event.
·         The town hall can be attended in person or via live webcast.
·         A video of the town hall will be posted online after the event.

The team will be available to media following the questions from the public.
Date:               Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Time:             6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Location:        97 Front Street West
                        Peter R. Smith Boardroom – 4th floor

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Renovations at GO Burlington hit the five year mark

Date:               Fri, 1 Dec 2017 21:07:52 -0500
From:              GO Voyageur
Subject:           December 1, 2017… Is it time to party?

Hi Cindy,

Well, it’s December 1, and that means but one thing — the renovation of Burlington GO station celebrates its fifth anniversary.  So, what to do?  Another premium cupcake from Longos, the finest Metrolinx-green china that Dollarama has to offer, a candle, et voilà!

I don’t see the solar panels planned for the roof.  Do you?

Construction pylons still litter the walk to the East tunnel.  An electrical extension cord snaked its way from the outlet, up the pillar, across the rafters, and into a work area behind temporary doors that have been there an eternity.  Two construction folk emerged from behind the doors to chat in the sunny corridor and then disappeared again.

One of the elevators to the West tunnel was not usable.  Hmmm… I didn’t actually test the other one.  My bad.

The foyer of this station is huge, but there isn’t much in the way of seating.  For those hoping for a cup of java on their way to work, dream on.  There are stories that a Tim Hortons location is coming (“soon”?).

Sorry, no party.  But the weather was beautiful!



Friday, December 1, 2017

Health update: I'm a cycling machine

As most of you know, I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself back in April, brushed off my bike and got back on the proverbial horse, despite pain and injury. My highest weight in 2017 was 286 pounds. Today I weigh...

... are you ready for it?


This has been the most frustrating journey to get here but I persevered and pulled off this:

It's been a little hairy to ride in the evenings in Courtice. The town itself isn't very big and there are only three bike lanes - none of which are connected. To really get a good distance, I'd ride up to Hampton (and to Enniskillen on weekends) but it's too dangerous to ride the narrow, rural roads at night. So my night rides have been short, about 15 km, and infrequent, because although I'm prepared for the cold, I really do not like riding in wind, and it's been really windy.

But I gotta keep moving, right? So at the beginning of the month I forced my husband off the couch and now we walk, five times a week. We're averaging about 3 km a walk because my knees get extremely sore as they are riddled with arthritis. We walked 4.5 km recently and I was almost crippled by the time I got home. But ride 35 km non-stop? No problem. 

Someone mentioned putting together a Crazy Train cycling group for the Ride for Heart this coming June. I'm down. I'll post details on here, and on Twitter, once it's closer to registration. Now don't get too excited, I'm only interested in the 25 km route.

I haven't done a 50 km ride yet. My longest distance is 36 km. Let's stay realistic, k?

The goal now is to get to 238 pounds which was my original goal weight and I made it back in March of 2014. It is totally possible to lose 20 pounds in four months and I'm going to try my hardest to get there.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Packed train?! Why not sit on the toilet?

Gross, but resourceful.

Photo via @Jeremy32414144 on Twitter

Between January 2010 and Oct. 23, 2017, there were 85 fatalities involving GO trains, according to statistics provided by Metrolinx asked Metrolinx for the data and conducted an interview with its head of Transit Security.

When a fatal incident occurs, there is immediate concern for commuters and the victim's family, but these collisions also take a toll on the train engineers and emergency responders. There are usually two workers at the front of the engine. After the crash, they are quickly joined at the site by police, paramedics, rail special constables and other emergency responders.


List of municipalities where a fatality has occurred (as of Oct. 25, 2017)*:

Toronto — 32
Mississauga — 15
Oakville — 8
Burlington — 5
Newmarket — 4
Richmond Hill, Innisfil — 3 each
Brampton — 2
Kitchener, Whitby, Guelph, Pickering, Georgetown, Aurora, Holland Landing, Stouffville, Scarborough, Ajax, Hamilton, Barrie and East Gwillimbury — 1 each

* Source:

Monday, November 27, 2017

You can't top this. No one can

The hell was that this morning?!

I was seated on the 7:03 Oshawa to Untion train at about 6:53 am when I got the first tweet that something bad was happening just outside of Guildwood GO station. We were told we could expect delays of up to 10 minutes due to a malfunctioning signal - the same signal system we were told three years ago was due for an upgrade.

That worked out well, didn't it? What the hell do we pay fare increases for? Isn't it for system improvements?!

Ten minutes was generous. I rolled into work at 9:18 am, one hour and 18 minutes later than I usually arrive. Thankfully I am up to date with my tasks, otherwise, I'd be staying an extra hour to make up the time.

All of the trains affected this morning by the signal mess qualify for the Go Transit service guarantee. I'd give it a couple of days before trying. The information is entered manually and a lot of trains were affected.

By the way, does the acronym for the title of this web page stand for "Fucking GO System"? Seems appropriate.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

So back in October Bombardier staff delayed an LSW GO train to make a coffee run

Just because the train is moving away from Union is not an excuse. Commuters heading out of the city are entitled to a properly kept schedule. Is this normal? I should hope not.

Friday, November 17, 2017

No, no, no and hell no - but don't panic! It's an error on Presto's part. Card cancellations sent in error (who built this piece of crap?)

Hi! How are you?

It's not that there isn't anything to report (other than a HUGE Presto card mess last night that made for an annoying commute this morning for those of us who could not tap last night and then had to line up at stations to have our cards reset this morning) because there is, I've just been a lazy blogger. As I've mentioned before, Twitter now trumps the website and I forget to blog.

But hey, wanna know what I've learned recently? That six years later, now that I'm driving again, people still have no idea how to park properly. I call every parking donkey out for his or her shit if I happen to encounter one. How hard is it to park straight between two lines? In fact, if you were truly skilled, you wouldn't need lines to be able to accurately measure a polite and courteous distance between your car and one next to you. There is so much dumb at the Oshawa GO station lot, I don't know where to start.

So ya, hi, how are ya? Hope you're well. And I miss you, too.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Friday, October 27, 2017

The stupidity is incredible. The recklessness even more so

From News Talk 1290 CJBK's Facebook page

We had a listener send us in a video from what's happening on the 401 between Cambridge and Woodstock today.
"If anyone plans on heading east there are people driving the wrong way on the highway to avoid traffic between Cambridge and Woodstock! Might want to change plans​
As you can see in the video, it wasn't just people doing u-turns, people were doing 3-point turns on the highway... in front of transport trucks. Then, they had to get off the road somehow, so they went up the on ramps."

Metrolinx inconveniences hundreds of customers for film shoot

Sent by email

Clarkson GO Station Passengers:
On Wednesday, November 1 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., there will be a film crew using the parking garage at your station and the 5th floor and a portion of the 4th floor will be closed. As well, approximately 20 parking spaces outside the parking structure will be used for equipment. Please allow extra time to find parking at your station.

We thank you for your patience.


Pardon? How about everyone getting on at Clarkson gets a free GO train ride to work that morning?

How much is Metrolinx being paid?

Putting it out there, looking to see what comes back

I grew up with a sister with special needs. My parents treated her very differently than myself and my two other siblings. We were punished. There were always consequences for our actions. However, with my sister, she was never punished and never suffered consequences. Despite the meltdowns, stealing food, lying, hitting, disobeying and not listening, she was still ferried to her numerous social activities, allowed to watch television and leave the house to play in the school yard.

The rest of us were sent to bed without dinner, denied treats, forbidden from playing with friends, going to the park, watching television, had Walkmans taken away, lost the privilege to attend birthday parties and only in extreme cases, were met with a slap on the butt. 

Now I am the parent of an only child with special needs (autism spectrum disorder and anxiety). My daughter is a good kid. She doesn't act out, doesn't scream, or display anger. She doesn't talk back or argue. She does what she's told (or so I thought) but just yesterday, I learned she'd been lying to me, to her father and to her grade 7 teacher about schoolwork. Three assignments had not been turned in, two of them being ones she had told her father and I she had completed and submitted.

After the phone call and subsequent emails back and forth with her teacher, I was furious, but most of all I was really, really, really disappointed.  When I got home, I went up to her room to talk to her. I told her how upset I was that she had lied to me, to her dad and to her teacher. I told her it was unacceptable. Then I told her that she would not be trick or treating on Halloween (this practically broke my heart because my kid LIVES for Halloween). I also said that despite today being a PA Day, the two assignments she lied about completing and handing in were to be done in the next two hours along with an email to her teacher about the status of the third assignment, which is due Monday. Then I left her room to compose myself and hash out my feelings with her dad in the kitchen (who is 100% supportive of the punishment handed out). 

She completed her assignments within an hour and with my help, uploaded them both to her teacher's Google Classroom account and then, my daughter explained to me, while struggling to maintain her composure, why she lied to me. She said she was scared to admit she didn't understand the work and was embarrassed to ask for help. I told her that it was my job as her mother to help her. She knows this?! I couldn't decide if she was bullshitting me or telling me the truth. The kid does struggle with communication. She was probably being sincere, but it still sounded ludicrous.

She did not bring up Halloween but I do know that after I left her room, she bawled her eyes out because I could hear her from downstairs. When her dad went up to eventually talk to her, she was inconsolable. I don't know what he said to her (I didn't want to know) but when he came down, he said he'd never seen her like that.

And so, here it is, today, and I'm no longer mad or angry. Instead, I feel shitty. I also have a much better understanding why my parents were so soft on my sister - they felt sorry for her because she was different and short-changed from doing so many things that myself and my sisters could do that they didn't want to "hurt" her despite bad behaviour. I'm not saying I feel sorry for my kid, but her life won't be like mine and she does have it harder because of her disabilities.

Interested in hearing what some of you think.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

People don't commit suicide by train to purposely mess up your day, nor do they think to contact GO Transit and give a heads-up

On Monday, a young man jumped in front of a GO train on the Barrie line. This resulted in a delay of just under three hours after service was suspended. On Tuesday, there was another fatality on the Lakeshore East line. The delay was just under two hours after service was suspended.

Hundreds of passengers went wild on Twitter, unhappy to try to find alternate ways to work, or having been stranded in parking lots, or, being left to wait on platforms. In regards to the Lakeshore East fatality, I felt GO Transit did a great job keeping me informed. I was getting texts constantly, updated emails and Twitter notifications in real time. I wound up being 10 minutes late for work. One person asked why GO can't plan for suicides better.

I'm not even going to try to explain how mental illness or depression works, but I think it is very obvious that GO will never know when someone is planning to jump in front of a train. Nor is it fair to expect a regional transit agency to have hundreds of buses on stand-by near every single station to immediately be put into service when trains fail to run. Who pays for that? I sure don't want to.

Man, some of y'all get all up and angry in your grams

Friday, October 20, 2017

When you have Metrolinx as a neighbour - you have the neighbour from hell

Submitted by Anonymous
Exclusive to This Crazy Train

Wait, what, the aliens... are... coming?!

I open my eyes to a Close Encounters-esque light show streaming through my bedroom black-out blinds. The beep-beep-beep of a large machine in reverse is pummeling my temples and - what’s this?
My house is shaking.
What the f…?
I roll over to check the time.
It’s 1:00 am.
I squint at my wife – she’s asleep. But…how? Oh yes, she’s drunk.
Lucky you lady.
I get up and push back the curtains. There’s nothing on the street. I live downtown - right downtown. TCT readers travelling along Lakeshore East will know my house because you can look into my back bedroom – every back bedroom on the street in fact - as you roll on by. Maybe you saw me sifting through my laundry at 7am last Monday? A paunchy middle-aged white guy…? Butt naked? Yeah, that was me.
Downtown living can be noisy, but this commotion, at this time of the morning, was something else.
I look out of my front window, up and down the street.

Christ, everyone must be awake.
Turns out they were. The guy at number 67 was running around counting his kids and fumbling for the phone. The couple at 45 tried to find their pets who were hissing and cowering under the bed.
All along the street lights flicked on, kids held out their arms for a cuddle, curtains were drawn.
Beep! Rattle..Shake…

Man this is Armageddon…Well there is a madman in the White House…it was just a matter of time.
I stumble out of my room and peer out of the back bedroom window.
Holy Christ….
This is the view that greeted me:

Spielberg’s spaceship is running along the train track, screeching, clanking and beeping.
Yikes this girl has claws! I can see the drill bit fingers grinding into the earth. Everywhere there are - lights. Blinding white tractor beams poking through the branches of the trees and circling the sky.


There’s a halo of light around the whole machine, it’s like a ghost train.
But - who am I gonna call?

A few weeks ago, after Metrolinx sent us a fancy slide show showing our laneway with the trees cropped down and a shiny new track running 13 feet closer to our homes (RER is coming - hooray!), we were given a single-point of contact. ‘Michael will address all your noise concerns’ they told us. ‘Call him 24/7.’

So I did. But Michael wasn’t available 24/7, just his voice mail was. I left him a message and got a reply - two days later.

The work you noticed…is part of our ongoing project in the corridor to access and investigate underground utilities’ Michael explained, after apologizing for shaking my house, ‘I sent out the attached construction notice for this work on September 20th.

Uh, no you didn’t.

‘I’ve also been working with the project team and members of your surrounding community through the duration of this project to mitigate as much disruption as possible

Um, no you haven’t.

‘This work is now completed and the entire project will be finishing up tonight

Er, no, it won’t.

Two days later the spaceship was back. This time my wife wasn’t drunk. She woke up and got mightily upset.

‘What the f*** is wrong with these people?’ she screamed, smacking me with her pillow, ‘Don’t they know we need to sleep?’

Over the course of 5 days this week I’ve amassed about 20 hours of sleep. That’s not nearly enough. Two nights were particularly bad with only 2-3 hours to be had.

I don’t know about you but I can’t function properly when I’m sleep deprived. I can’t drive, I can’t work, I can’t exercise.  

The track work behind my street has been going on for a week and, we’ve just learned through another update from Michael, that we have another week to go. No notices were e-mailed to my neighbours to tell us that our houses are going to be rattled and our kids traumatized, no mail drop was completed.

And there were no neighbourhood consultations.

Perhaps Michael at Metrolinx was referring to discussions with the Co-op at the bottom of the street. Apparently a week prior to my alien out-of-body experience, these poor saps were turfed out of bed at 10pm to face their very own first contact. Rumour has it that insults were hurled from the laneway, and, at one point, the contractor even stopped to listen, before firing up his engine and resuming his deep earth exploration.

But this doesn’t matter. What matters is that, when you have Metrolinx as a neighbour - you have the neighbour from hell. You have Bo the hippy, whose weed wafts through your vents at all hours of the day. You have Mike the metal head, who thinks ‘loud’ is 11 to the power of 11 and anything less is fine, so what are you complaining about? And you have Tim and Shelley, who didn’t realize that was your tree, oh sorry, but not to worry we’re building a fence anyway, 20 feet high! Do you want to chip in?

I could take up the entire TCT hard drive telling you about my Metrolinx ‘consultations’ (Short version: It works like this: They talk – you listen. You complain – they don’t listen).

Do you ever wonder why, when you roll past the Caroline Coop just west of Parliament, half the embankment is treed and the other half bushes? Well that’s Metrolinx. And do you ever think, as you watch the bent-over white bloke scrabbling around for his undies, what it must be like to live that close to the tracks? Surely they can’t put them any closer? Uh, yeah, they can.

Alas, this story doesn’t even scratch the surface of what my street, and countless other GTA residents who have the pleasure of calling Metrolinx a neighbour, have to deal with on a regular basis ( Look at the LRT complaints along Eglinton ( Look what Weston folks had to deal with during the UP construction ( ( Looking at all these incidents it seems that Metrolinx’ approach to rail operations, maintenance and expansion is: Do it first, apologize later (maybe, if we get caught).

‘Engaging in Community Consultation’ is interpreted as sending out volumous reports (our street has just received a several thousand page RER noise/vibration study dossier, and been given all of 30 days to review it) and coordinating a cacophony of mass confusion (I was actually told I asked the wrong question by one rep when I complained that he’d given me the wrong answer!) until the clock winds down.

Welcome to my backyard TCT. Perhaps, next time you see me scrambling in the laundry, you could give me a friendly wave. God knows I need it.