West Toronto Diamond
Mile 4.7 CPR Galt Subdivision
After 130 years the West Toronto diamond is no more. Friday, May 23, 2014 with the passage of the last westbound GO train Number 269 to Georgetown (due Bloor Street 1900) the GO (former CN) Weston Subdivision main track was closed. Beginning Monday morning the first GO train from Mount Pleasant went underneath the CPR North Toronto Subdivision.
Heading north over the diamond cab car 221 trails GO 269 engine 615 on GO (former CN) Weston Subdivision westbound on double yellow signal to Georgetown is the last train to cross the diamond with CPR North Toronto Subdivision. New track underneath being tamped in preparation for cutover. 1900 Friday, May 23, 2014 Paul Cordingley
Note: Other last movements were eastbound (southward) from Sarnia VIA 84 engine 6459.due 10.40 A.M. Westbound CP T15 engine 2254. Eastbound CP 142 engine 8933. Recorded by Paul Cordingley.
Massive undertaking by Metrolinx is to accommodate the new Union-Pearson Express, all day long passenger trains between Union Station and Pearson International Airport due to begin in May 2015. It will also facilitate additional GO commuter trains on the Kitchener (formerly, Georgetown) line. VIA Rail passenger trains also use this line via Stratford to London.
Note: Following changes to signals an Operating Bulletin was issued as follows: Effective after 1900 Thursday June 12 2014, the remotely-controlled interlocked junction and railway crossing at grade at West Toronto is permanently removed from service.
This interlocking was originally installed circa 1909 to protect the multiple routes over diamonds on the many lines that first crossed in May of 1884 and added to as more railways met. In other words 130 years of history has come to an end.
1920 and onward
West Toronto diamond looking southeast. Men are working on the MacTier Subdivision diamond with the double track CNR Weston Sub. originally GTR broad gauge (5' 6") to Stratford. Galt Sub. originally CVR main line to St. Thomas at far right. Note the crossovers and station platforms. Crossways double track is North Toronto Sub.originally O&Q main line from Havelock The arrival of the O&Q in early May of 1884 created the need for the diamond. Far left single track is Old Bruce Service track, originally TG&B narrow gauge (3' 6") main line through Weston to Bolton and Orangeville. April, 1923.
Double tracking of the North Toronto Sub. in 1905 was likely the impetus for interlocking installation c. 1909
Old Weston Road bridge, looking southeast, CPR freight
crossing West Toronto Diamond, entering West Toronto Yard.
Note: This bridge was closed to traffic in July 1972 due to deteriorated condition and the lack of government funding to rebuild it caused it to be demolished in July of 1981 although the approaches remained for some time before being removed. Traffic congestion has existed ever since as only a narrow ancient Keele Street underpass remains in the area.
G3 2318 could be a time table train (no signals displayed)
from Mac Tier backing into the yard on westbound track off the
Fireman Jack Ansell maintains a lookout around the sharp curve of the Galt Sub. westward track running light from Parkdale Yard off 905 the Toronto Merchandise (LCL) from Montreal. August 2, 1954 James Walder/John Riddell Collection
Note: The van and tailend crew have been left at Parkdale. The reason for this practice is uncertain although it may be related to the eastbound train 910 "Mae West" which handled LCL from King Street shed to Montreal.
P2 class 5370 a London engine is backing over the diamond
eastward from Lambton with its van to lift its train in
Note the large steam delivery pipe along the running board. This was used in work train service such as powering a Lidgerwood steam winch unloading ballast or for thawing culverts in winter. It is more visible on 5361 here:
Upper Canada Railway Society Newsletter August 1961
Originally an all-mechanical interlocking built 1908 by Saxby and Farmer in England controlled the diamond through a system of rods and bell cranks. Installation, operation and maintenace; 100% CPR. It consisted of 44 levers controlling 21 switches, derails and locks plus 17 signals (6 levers were spare). This system was finally replaced in March 1965 with modern CTC controlled by a train dispatcher at Union Station. The tower was demolished in September 1964 temporarily replaced by a small shanty and around-the-clock switchtenders to manually control tracks during the changeover.
Two views of the City transfer from Parkdale Yard enroute to West Toronto Yard and (below) crossing the diamond on the way back to Toronto Yard. 1965. Both photos Bill Thomson.
8406-8745 (likely 953) heading north on the Mac Tier Subdivision at Noontime. Bill Thomson
Little has changed in these two 1963 scenes before CTC installation.
Local job on the westward North Toronto Sub. crossing Osler Street level crossing.
Welders at work on MacTier Sub. See below for view in other direction.
Extra 4051 West on North Toronto Sub. Note man getting off engine and welder at work.
Upper level interior views. Leverman Lorne Biggs. There
was also a train order operator on duty.
Interlocking controls mean conflicting movements are
not possible providing complete safety.
CP Rail era
NOTE: Eastern Daylight Saving Time adopted with Time
Table 43 Taking Effect 0300 Sunday April 28, 1974
On two separate days a year apart Fred Clark spent a long day photographing
and taking notes
8747_8467_8771_8140_8151 eastbound off the Galt Sub. approaching the
diamond on the way to Toronto Yard.
Two tracks in foreground are CN Weston Sub. Next is CP Mac Tier Sub. At left curving is westward track Galt. Sub. Eastward track is hidden behind section shack. Old Weston Road bridge. "the Mill" in right background.
Van (43)4440 PAT (Pacific Auto Train) hottest thing on CP Rail! Nothing
but multi-levels of new automobiles.
Back again! RS-18 8747 a filthy RS-10 8467 in old colours, 8771 and
a B-unit 4431 leaving North Toronto Sub. on connecting track to Mac
Tier Sub. northbound. Likely power was turned on the wye under the hump
at Toronto Yard.
A year later
No 12 eng 1411 The Canadian is crossing over both the Weston
and North Toronto Subs. arriving at West Toronto
Extra 4737 West on the North Toronto Sub. about to hit the diamond
with an all-MLW consist C-424 4210 RS-10 8563.
Track in foreground is Mac Tier Sub. which begins at Galt Sub. near
West Toronto depot.
MLW S-10 6603 westbound Galt. Sub. from Parkdale. Alco S-2 7024 on
"bush" track eastbound to North Toronto Sub.
Both of these local jobs appeared again. Later in the day 6603 returned
from Lambton Yard moving eastward across the North Toronto Sub. At 1545
the 7024 reappeared making two more movements, first eastward shoving
with van ahead
GO 503 northbound on CN Weston Sub. bound for Georgetown with 7 single
CNR 7501 switching on the CNR Weston Subdivision at the Diamond. 1952 Chuckman's Photos
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