Canadian Pacific Railway
Obico and Queensway
Mile 9.6 Galt Subdivision
Intermodal and Express
Obico became a major piggyback yard after additional land was bought back from Hydro, only a small amount of land that cost much more than the whole sold to Hydro! Obico Piggyback replaced both Queensway as well as John Street Piggyback, which had outgrown the available land in downtown Toronto.
Eventually, Obico converted to containers and the end ramps used for trailers were removed. Again, lack of sufficient land to expand caused CP to look for a new location. They settled on a large tract of land next to the Mac Tier Subdivision not far beyond Metropolitan Toronto. Originally intended to replace Obico, it has continued to expand as has traffic, thus Obico remains open and busy. Since Vaughan Intermodal Terminal opened all traffic to and from the northwest has used Vaughan, while the one remaining Montreal train uses Obico. This train is expected to move to Vaughan to allow for expansion of New York traffic. For a while the volume of traffic required some trains from Vancouver to go to Obico to relieve congestion. Thus the latest expansion of Vaughan Intermodal Facility, was completed in November 2001, providing a major capacity boost.
Obico is not likely to be closed, as more and more freight is going by rail in both containers, and now once again in traditional highway trailers, this time using dedicated terminals and trains that were originally known as Iron Highway and now known as Expressway. Obico IMS (Inter-Modal Service) eventually took over all of Obico Yard for its needs. The facility is 61 acres, with 12,900 feet of truck-rail track and another 20,000 feet for storage. NOTE: Obico Intermodal closed after consolidation at Vaughan and the land was sold off in 2016.
CP Express shed
Just to the west, off the Galt Sub. was a major shed for CP Express, located on 23 acres, the 99,000 sq.ft. shed could spot 24 box cars, 56 trailer doors and 73 pick-up and delivery doors. Built by Dominion Bridge it was similar to another new facility in Lachine (Montreal), opened at the same time, January 1969. It operated until box car traffic ended in the 1980's. Some years following creation of CP Express & Transport, deregulation of trucking came and eventually it went out of business. It was the last LCL highway carrier that operated across Canada, CN Express had already ceased to exist.
Queensway Mileage 11.4
Queenway Piggyback Yard under construction 1958 Looking west R.L.Kennedy
Queensway Piggyback Yard had a 4 ramp facility (4 tracks
of 10 cars each) at the end of North Queen Street in Etobicoke, opened
January 1959. Queensway Pig Yard relieved John Street, dispatching
a Montreal piggyback train at 8.15 p.m. It also handled western Canada
traffic on a fast freight out of Parkdale. It had a 40'x50' six room
office building and 4 tracks of 10 cars each. When Obico Pig Yard
was opened in October 1971, John Street was closed and no east traffic
was loaded at the Queensway, only north traffic. When it was closed,
a small shed was put there for Interline Forwarders, a pool car operator
that relocated from Parkdale shed. TNT Railfast a small forwarder,
also relocated from Parkdale. Following the demise of
Traffic to Western Canada was loaded at Queensway
Piggyback and transferred to
7024 westbound with a Pig Transfer. West Toronto 8/26/1961 Joseph Testagrose Collection
A pig transfer eastbound (backing up) at Keele Street
(likely from the Queensway) to Parkdale Yard
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