Kitchener-Toronto VIA Trains Add Stop at Malton

VIA Train at Port Credit

I found this out quite by accident while planning a trip into Toronto later this week. Did you know what VIA Rail now makes an extra stop at Malton GO station?

The two morning inbound trains both stop at Malton at 7:59 and 10:29 respectively. The 7:59 train does not operate during weekends. Returning, all three trains stop at Malton, at 11:20, 18:05 and 22:37. The first two of these trips continue on to London and Sarnia, while the last terminates in London. The late trip also does not operate on Saturdays. Apparently this change took effect with VIA Rail’s new winter schedules, last month.

What surprises me is how quietly VIA Rail made this change. There’s not even a press release on VIA’s website. There’s a bare reference to service having started last month on this Wikipedia entry.

What does it mean for commuters? Well, for a commuter train service like GO or VIA, an additional stop means an extra three minutes of travel time for commuters passing through, but VIA Rail customers are unlikely to notice, as service has been slowed down in any event to accommodate the reconstruction of the Weston Sub to add more GO Trains, and rail service to the airport.

It also means more options for VIA passengers, who are now within a stone’s throw of Pearson International Airport (though no direct shuttle exists between Malton GO station and one of the terminals). Indeed, I’m guessing this is the motivation for the change. It’s not direct access to the airport (though it would have been the site I’d have picked if the Airport ever decided to extend a people-mover out to the nearest rail service), but it’s better than what they had before. And with work starting on the Airport Rail Link (with intermediate stops at Bloor and Weston), I’m wondering if this change is in preparation for connecting to this service. Malton, right now, offers the closest link to the Airport. Perhaps when the Air Rail Link starts up, they’ll move their stop further east.

Still, I’m not sure why VIA decided to do this as a stealth move.

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