Major Milestone Reached for Kitchener GO Rail Tunnels Project

Published on August 10, 2020

One Step Closer to Two-Way, All-Day Rail Service Along the Kitchener Line

August 6, 2020 10:00 A.M.

Ministry of Transportation

TORONTO — Ontario is continuing its transformation of the Kitchener GO line from a rush hour commuter service to a two-way, all-day rail service. Today, Kinga Surma, Associate Minister of Transportation, announced the breakthrough and completion of excavation on tunnel one of two rail tunnels under Highways 401 and 409.

"Reaching 100 per cent excavation of tunnel one marks a major milestone for the Highway 401 and 409 Rail Tunnels project," said Kinga Surma, Associate Minister of Transportation. "This priority project is part of the Ontario Government's commitment to expand GO rail service and to deliver better, faster and more frequent rapid transit throughout the province's GO Transit network."

This breakthrough for the first of two tunnels is the latest progress achievement since the start of construction. The project includes construction of two rail tunnels under 21 live lanes of Highways 401 and 409 to accommodate two additional tracks, future signaling and communications infrastructure to help increase capacity on the Kitchener corridor and support more frequent rail service on the line. Toronto Tunnel Partners continues digging at the second tunnel with completion expected for late 2020.

"The GO Expansion program and increased capacity along the Kitchener GO Line is about building a modern, comprehensive transit service that offers vast improvements to our network, changing the way residents travel across the region and allow us to bring more trains and more service that our customers deserve," said Phil Verster, President and CEO of Metrolinx. "In a post-COVID world, two-way, regular train services are going to be even more important than before and this is particularly true for how we serve all our communities along the Kitchener line."

"I would like to commend Toronto Tunnel Partners for their great work and innovative engineering solutions under one of North America's busiest highway stretches," said Ehren Cory, President and CEO, Infrastructure Ontario "This marks another important milestone in our program with Metrolinx to transform GO service in the GTHA to provide two-way, all-day commuter service."

This project is just one of over twenty major projects currently under construction to support the province's GO Rail Expansion program that will transform GO rail into a two-way, all-day rapid transit service every 15 minutes on core segments of the network.

Quick Facts

  • Each rail tunnel under Highway 401 and 409 will be approximately 180 metres, or about 360 metres when combined, and 11 metres in diameter.
  • The completion of Tunnel involved the removal of approximately 35,000 cubic metres of material.
  • Toronto Tunnel Partners is the project consortium constructing the two rail tunnels.
  • The value of the contract is approximately $116.9 million.

Additional Resources