The CPR first made its plans for a new intermodal yard in Vaughan, just north of Toronto, public in November 1984. The proposed site was on the west side of the Mac Tier Subdivison main line, just west of Highway 27, between Rutherford Road and Major Mackenzie Drive, a rural area. It met with opposition from two residents groups in Kleinburg and Woodbridge, some miles away. A new location farther to the west ending at Highway 50 was substituted and made public in January 1986. It too was opposed by residents. The CPR had the right under the Railway Act of 1919 to expropriate land needed for its operations. Instead, the railway chose to let things sit rather than push ahead and in November 1986 put the project on hold. In March 1989 a go ahead was given for this much needed facility as traffic was growing and Obico was too small with no land for expansion. Work began in April 1990 with municipal approval. Trucks would only enter and leave along Highway 50, not Hwy.27.
The new site was 200 acres out of a 770-acre site which required a 5000 foot long lead to reach it. There were four 2000 foot working tracks under three gigantic electric gantry cranes 80' high with a 240' span and capable of lifting 45 tons. There was also six storage and make up tracks of the same length. It was designed to handle 110,000 containers annually of a fast growing market as import traffic grew. It cost $29 million and was opened in September 20, 1991 at which time it was known as the Vaughan Intermodal Terminal of CP Rail Intermodal Freight Systems.
Plusar Inc. 1254 (ex CN 1254) SW1200RS remote controlled.
Several expansions were made to handle the rapidly growing container business. Further cranes were decided against, mobile lift machines being used for greater flexibility. Two major truck terminals were added to the site along Regional Road (Highway) 50, one for Sears with 222 truck doors and another for Fastfreight, (opened September 2000) a major truck operator, a 160,000 square foot building with 295 truck doors. Fastfrate moved from a much smaller facility at Lambton yard. Neither one has any trackage.
Ten years after Vaughan yard first opened, a major expansion was completed and opened on October 23, 2001. This made Vaughan Intermodal Facility, as it was then known, the largest of 22 such terminals in Canada. It boosted the capacity 70% to 400,000 container and trailer handlings annually with space for future expansion to almost 700,000, a total nearly 7 times it original capacity. Intermodal now represented 23% of total revenue. It cost $26 million, nearly the cost of the original facility ten years ago.
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