ION LRT set to launch this spring

Kitchener-Waterloo’s new ION rapid transit is set to launch this spring after infamous delays. The date still has not been announced, though I see practice runs frequently.

The line runs not far from my home in Waterloo. I’ll have to walk a little further to reach a station, but it’s still readily accessible.

On this morning’s walk I went a different way from usual. I know where bloodroot will bloom downstream on Cedar Creek in a few weeks. To explore that part of the park I took a different path, and passed a pedestrian crossing of the rail line. It’s more of a hike but within the time constraints of my morning routine. This part of the line follows a preexisting, renovated track.

A train was working slowly back and forth along the rails. I got to see and hear the signals and safety rails in operation. I waved to the driver and her companion, but they remained focused on their activity. The young woman appeared to be receiving driving instruction.

Once running, ION will give us quick access to uptown Waterloo, downtown Kitchener and other parts of the city. Future construction will extend the line to Cambridge.

The project has been controversial because of disruptions to business and the delays in getting the new trains from Bombardier. However, we need such infrastructure to reduce traffic and dependency on fossil fuels. Continuing to follow our old ways is not sustainable. Growing pains are difficult but welcome.

Today’s post goes out to Randy McDonald at A Bit More Detail who has an inspirational fascination with urban matters, and frequently posts friendly links to my blog.

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