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West Toronto Yard

 

Expressway

Originally named Iron Highway this service beginning in November 1996 returned piggyback operations between Toronto and Montreal. Featuring special "platforms" capable of handling any highway trailer unlike other piggyback operations which required reinforced trailers on account of being lifted on and off the flat cars rather than the original method of using an end ramp.

In Toronto the area chosen was the old scrap dock at West Toronto, which was being used for storage of track materials following the exit of diesel facilities. It also involved minor alterations to some tracks including the old water track and gas house. Service began in November 1996 with two trains, six days per week. This was a temporary "trial" facility and it was closed following the opening on June 12, 2000 of a new permanent location west of Toronto on the Galt Subdivision at Hornby (Milton), and named Toronto (later, Toronto West) At this time service was extended west to Windsor and Detroit. It initially took up 25 out of 196 acres. (This land had been purchased for a new Maintenance of Way shop to replace West Toronto and John Street facilities. It never came about.) At this time the equipment had been changed to flat cars and re-named Expressway. The old Iron Highway facility in West Toronto then became in 2000 a small rail-truck transfer facility, actually just an old fashion team track!

It was intended to further extend service to Chicago however this never came about. Another new terminal, Toronto East, was later opened on the site of the former pool car shed at the east end of Toronto Yard.
Detroit was closed in the Summer of 2004 following loss of the small downtown terminal located at the long-closed Michigan Central passenger station. Service was reduced to one train a day from Windsor to Toronto West due to low traffic and soon discontinued. Toronto East was served by one train daily primarily handling Hudson Bay/Zellers traffic was closed August 2010 due to high costs.
Toronto West (Milton) to Montreal remains in use with twice daily service.


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