Yesterday could have a been a disaster for GO Transit commuters. Late afternoon on Wednesday, a suspicious package was located by an off-duty police officer at the Exhibition GO Station. Following the discovery of the cylindrical package, police closed all four tracks running through the station.
Investigators from the CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) unit were called in by police to identify and evaluate the package. This investigation hindered services on the Lakeshore West line from Union Station to Long Branch Station.
The Lakeshore East line including Barrie, Kitchene, Milton and Richmond Hill/Stouffville routes were also effected by the closure. The usual additional rush hour trains located at Willowbrook yard had no alternate route, ultimately contributing to the backup.
Anne Marie Aikins of Metrolix told CP24, “We’re slowly able to get our trains out of Willowbrook, get them back on all of our lines, and we’ll return service to normal”, adding that it would take time.
Around 7 pm the suspicious package was detonated. Police and investigators still remain unclear as to what the item contained and if it carried any risk to the public.
Following the detonation, a second suspicious item was discovered at Exhibition Station. It later turned out to be a child’s backpack carrying no risk to commuters and the public.
Service was ultimately restored and commuters returned home, however, the effect of these items delayed transit considerably.