Wet’suwet’en solidarity demonstrators disrupt GO train service in GTA

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GO trains have been suspended between Union and Pickering because of ‘developing safety incident.’


Wet’suwet’en solidarity demonstrators have disrupted GO train service for the commute home Tuesday.

In a message posted to Twitter shortly after 4:30 p.m., Metrolinx said incidents on the tracks have “the potential to disrupt customers throughout our entire system.”

The GO Transit rail network carries more than 215,000 people per day.

Agency spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins said that there had been reports of disruptions at Kipling station on the Milton line, as well as at Guildwood on Lakeshore East.

Metrolinx tweeted at around 4:45 p.m. that the situation at Guildwood had been cleared and normal service was resuming, but customers could expect residual delays.

Aikins said the agency was doing its best to respond to reports of potential blockages.

“It’s a quickly evolving situation, and information is coming swiftly and in limited fashion, and we aren’t able to as quickly develop a recovery plan when there’s this much of our rail (network) impacted.”

GO is also warning of severe crowding at Union Station during rush hour as a result.

Aikins said that the agency had been preparing for potential disruptions in the wake of protests across the country in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en heredity chiefs in B.C. who are opposing the construction of a natural gas pipeline through their land.

“We have been working with our safety partners for the last few weeks, and have stepped up our efforts over the last couple of days. We have an emergency preparedness plan that we have put in effect,” she said.

“The first priority we have is to make sure everybody stays safe, so everybody has been working round the clock, especially the last 48 hours.”

Earlier Tuesday, Wet’suwet’en solidarity protesters forced GO Transit to cancel morning train service at its stations in Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Hamilton and West Harbour and instead run shuttle buses between the stations.

Supporters of Wet’suwet’en say they have blockaded trains east-west and north-south in and out of Toronto following the OPP raid on Tyindenaga Mohawk outside Belleville.

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Ben Spurr

Ben Spurr is a Toronto-based reporter covering transportation. Reach him by email at bspurr@thestar.ca or follow him on Twitter: @BenSpurr





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