Archive for the ‘Transportation’ Category
We just returned from a two-week trip to the west coast of Canada. While we were in Calgary, I took note of their light rail transit system. The top picture was taken from the Calgary Tower and the train track was next to the major highway which ran through the city. The train was a short walk from our hotel and we could get to the Stampede grounds quickly for a cost of $2.75. The traffic in the city was heavy due to the stampede and the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Light rail was the way to go.
A member of our family experienced the frustration of trying to find this Greyhound bus terminal on Sportsworld Drive. If you put 100 Sportsworld Drive in Google maps, it points you to the intersection of King Street East and Sportsworld Drive. The Google satellite map is outdated by a few years and still shows the golf dome which was moved the north end of Waterloo and is now at Max’s Golf Centre. This map shows Grand River Transit stops which are at the Greyhound terminal. The Greyhound Bus Terminal and commuter parking lot is at the entrance to Sportsworld Crossing which is closest to Highway 8, two blocks away from the intersection at King Street East.
This picture shows the King Street East bow bridge over the Grand River at Freeport with the rail bridge in the foreground. Several of my older patients at Freeport Health Centre have told me stories about the electric rail passenger service between Preston, Freeport and Kitchener-Waterloo which was in operation between 1903 and 1955. It is interesting that discussions about a new light rail transit system are in progress at this time.
Here is an informative website about the history of electric rail passenger service in Waterloo Region. I have copied a couple of paragraphs below.
“In 1894 with the completion of the Galt-Preston line, a charter to build an electric rail line between Preston and Berlin (Kitchener) was granted to Thomas Todd of Galt (President of the G & P), Fred Clare of Preston and J.A. Fennel of Kitchener. For various reasons, the Preston and Berlin Street Railway lay dormant until 1900 when it was reorganized. Construction on the new line began in 1901 at the G, P & H connection at east Preston. From there it followed the G, P & H line to Preston Junction at the entrance to Riverside Park. From there it traveled through Freeport and on to Berlin where it connected with the Berlin and Waterloo Street Railway. The laying of the track was completed by 1902 but initial passenger service on the line was delayed until February 5, 1903. The official opening of the line occurred on August 21, 1903 with normal service in place five days later.
However, the other modes of transportation began to make inroads into the rail passenger traffic and in April 1950 the Grand River Railway requested permission from the Board of Transport Commissioners to discontinue passenger service. As a result of local protests, the request was refused but business did not improve. In 1955 the company renewed its request to discontinue passenger rail service and this time the request was granted. On April 14, 1955, electric rail passenger service in Cambridge came to an end. Electric freight service continued for a few more years but the end of the local electric rail service same on October 1, 1961 when diesels took over the local freight traffic.”
Grand River Transit has many routes within the city limits of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge. The two main terminals are located here in Kitchener and on Ainslie Street in Cambridge. Transit service in the tri-cities has expanded greatly since I first used it as a high school student in the 1970s. As the community continues to grow, important decisions are being made about the development of a light rail rapid transit line between Waterloo and Cambridge.