How weather affects GO

For up-to-date trip information, visit the Service Updates page.

For local weather reports, visit The Weather Network.

Seasonal weather can have a negative impact on our equipment and service. Weather fluctuations are not unique to our climate, and we do our best to be prepared for changing weather conditions. We promise to keep you informed about any weather-related changes to our schedules.

In the autumn

Clear tracks and clear skies make for ideal train conditions. However, the debris created from fallen leaves in autumn months can get in between the train wheels and tracks. Similar to your car in the winter, train wheels need to maintain friction with the surface below. When leaves and other natural debris interfere with service, we slow down to ensure your safety.

We’ve taken great care to reduce this impact by taking on the leaves before they interfere. In 2012, our service had 70% fewer events. We also decreased the number of minutes delayed by 91% as compared to 2010. None of these events delayed passengers more than 15 minutes in 2012.

What are we doing? In tree-dense sections of corridor, we’re trimming trees, applying traction gel to track, installing debris fencing and leaf blowers, and high-pressure washing.

So when you’re looking out of your train window at the beautiful fall colours, just remember that there are two sides to every story.

In the winter

Winter weather can present challenges for any type of travel, including GO Trains and GO Buses which are exposed to the elements and must operate in all types of weather conditions. On an average winter day, we expect it to be business as usual on the GO. However, when the weather turns nasty, we’re prepared to help get you where you need to go and we will keep you in the know with information that is affecting your trip.

Snow Clearing Devices (SCDs) blow hot air on the track switches to prevent them from freezing during winter months. Currently, there are approximately 200 SCDs within the Union Station Rail Corridor and an additional 146 on other GO Transit rail corridors. Properly working switches help GO Trains get you where you need to be – when you need to be there.

Snow removal and bus stops

GO Transit reminds passengers to wait at a cleared area close to their bus stop, such as a driveway or crosswalk, if their stop is obstructed by snow. Drivers will stop at clearings close to the stop to enable passengers can safely board and exit the bus.

In the summer

We will always take your safety seriously and – as a proactive measure – we may also impose precautionary slower speed restrictions on the trains themselves until the weather conditions regulate.

Extremely hot weather conditions can cause metal (including railway tracks) to expand. In extreme cases of heat stress, expansion of the steel railway tracks can result in buckling or twisting of the steel rail itself. When the temperature exceeds 30 degrees Celsius, train equipment lubrications may start to breakdown, eventually resulting in increased friction. This increased friction stresses the component performance and may increase the possibility of mechanical failure of the equipment itself.

GO Transit monitors the weather conditions on a daily basis. When we see a higher probability for hot or cold stress impacts on our track or rail equipment, we further increase track inspection vigilance.