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It's a no-GO zone

Engineer: Crew cutbacks key factor in delays


A locomotive engineer believes GO Transit riders will continue to face the possibility of going nowhere fast partly because of the company’s decision to reduce the size of train crews.

While GO said switch and engine problems caused by frigid weather led to a string of delays and cancellations on the Lakeshore line yesterday morning, the engineer told the Toronto Sun that staffing reductions also played a key role.

The engineer who didn’t want to be named, said GO’s decision this month to use just one engineer on each Lakeshore train, instead of two, has resulted in longer time for repairs — and subsequently longer delays.

“We’re less one person,” the engineer said. “Every year (in the winter), something happens with the engine, but the passengers wouldn’t know about it because the engineers would have it fixed (quickly).

“(Now), they’ve got to fix the problem (often at the other end of the train) and then get back to drive the train.”


The engineer said the staffing reduction has resulted in poor morale.

“The workplace is a war zone.”

During afternoon rush-hour yesterday, several regular GO riders said they had heard about the staffing reduction and expressed concerns.

“I don’t like the staffing issue — there is a smell to it,” Bart Senos, 49, of Mississauga, said.

He said he has generally been happy with GO’s service, but did wait 35 minutes at the platform yesterday morning.

“They tell you it’s going to be three minutes and then it’s five, 12, 15, 30,” Senos said.

As for the switches, if Mother Nature continues to blow cold air this way, they could continue to pave the way for late trains, a GO spokesman said.

“When you have a cold spell like this, often there will be delays,” Stephanie Sorensen said.

GO added 40 new hot-air blowers last year, but they aren’t perfect.

“There is a time when they won’t even work in the cold weather because the ice falls on the blower,” Sorensen said.