Canadian Pacific Railway
Passenger service returned to the London Division on October 26, 1981 in the form of GO Transit commuter trains. This service operates only on the Galt Subdivision between Milton and Toronto providing basically a rush hour directional service inbound to Toronto in the morning, returning in the afternoon five days per week beginning with three trains.
The Government of Ontario began operating commuter service on the CNR between Oakville and Pickering via Toronto Union Station on May 23, 1967 as a trial method to reduce highway traffic in rush hours. It replaced an old CNR service with open window coaches operating between Hamilton and Toronto. It was an immediate success and expansion of service to all daylong seven days a week soon followed as well as extensions at both ends. In the years that followed new routes were established on four other CNR lines and one on the CPR.
GO provided the locomotives and coaches, the stations, as well as the facilities and shops to maintain and repair them. The railways only provided train crews and shop staff plus use of their tracks. Tracks and signals had to be upgraded and expanded at GO's expense. At first, an old car shop at CNR Mimico Yard was used for maintenance. It was no longer needed following closure of the yard when the new modern hump yard opened in Maple. Later, a larger new facility named Willowbrook, was opened nearby in September 1980. CPR crews would take deadhead (empty) equipment to and from Union Station and Willowbrook for a mid-day rest.
Prior to beginning service on the CPR heavier rail in the form of 136 lb. CWR (Continuous Welded Rail) replaced traditional lighter 100 lb. bolted rail on one track. Slag ballast was added to the existing crushed stone. Bidirectional CTC (Centralized Traffic Control) replaced directional ABS (Automatic Block Signal) signals and hand written (or typed) train orders providing increased train capacity between Cooksville and Guelph Junction. (Note: CTC already existed between West Toronto and Cooksville). Although initially designed for 80 mile per hour operation most of the track is actually 65 and 75 mph. While the Galt Subdivision was double track all the way from Union Station beyond Milton to Guelph Junction it was still necessary to make some changes. A new main track was added at ParkdaleYard between Mileage 1.45 and 2.4 Queen Street, to permit marshalling of long freight trains. A third track was added between Mileage 3.5 Dundas and 7.3 Humber. Two yard tracks, West Toronto 24 and Lambton 1 were rebuilt into a main track. Then, on the west side of the Humber River bridge from Royal York Mileage 7.5 to Kipling Mileage 9.9. Also, an extension of one track of the Canpa Sub. 2500 feet east to Bloor Street was added to facilitate freight movements and switching at Obico Yard.
Stations were located where sufficient land could be had taking into consideration that automobile parking for commuters would require much more space than a typical railway station.
..................................CPR old station location
Expansion of service from three to five trains per day effective January 9, 1989, required another stretch of third track extending from Royal York to Mileage 12.1 east of Dixie. And another of about three miles from Mileage 15.7 just west of Cooksville to 18.9 west of Erindale.
CTC was also added at an earlier date (January 1, 1983) from the TTR limit near Strachan Ave. Parkdale to West Toronto.
GO Guelph Junction layover facility. Resting on Labour
Day holiday. Looking west.
A small storage yard was built at Guelph Junction seven miles farther west, taking over three tracks for overnight storage of trains. This was later increased to five tracks when service expanded. When a sixth track was required for another expansion of service an existing track at Milton was utilized.
Further expansion from ten to twelve car trains resulted in a new yard being built just east of Milton GO station. Opened beginning of 2007 delayed for a year by the construction two highway overpasses nearby at Mileage 30.16 James Snow Parkway and 31.02 Thompson Road South. This will also eliminate deadhead movements over the grade eight miles west of Milton to Guelph Junction.
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