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by R.L.Kennedy

In 1950 the CPR proposed to expand Lambton and West Toronto Yards, and in one version a hump yard would have resulted. This followed the previous year's study to build a new yard at either Kleinburg, not far from where Vaughan Intermodal Terminal was eventually built, or at Wexford just slightly west of where Toronto (Hump) Yard was built (opened April 1964) in Agincourt. The new yards both featured a bypass north of the City, and Kleinburg included another bypass connecting to the west of Toronto like the CNR's 1967 bypass.

Proposed CPR Belt Lines to ByPass Toronto 1949.

Scheme Type add. land ...Increase Car Capacity Est. Cost

1: ..........flat.. 10.45 acres 634 cars....... 29.7% ..$3,219,000

2............flat .. 9.85 acres. 611 cars....... 28.6% ..$3,343,000

3........... flat... 9.85 acres. 815 cars ...... 38.2% ..$3,307,000

4 ......... hump 25.80 acres 588 cars ...... 27.5% ..$5,074,000

All schemes included a $275,000 central steaming plant as a means of smoke abatement such as was being employed at John Street and St.Luc.

Scheme 1 included about fifteen 100 car tracks in West Toronto yard, but a decrease in capacity in Lambton yard. The yard office would have been relocated to the south side of the mainline on the east side of Runnymede Road at Maria Street in a coal yard. The Here yard would be relocated to the east side of Runnymede at Ryding Avenue. Other relocations were required and a widing of Runnymede subway, also acquisition of two small industrial properties and 8 houses.

Scheme 2 required a massive rebuilding of Lambton yard with lead tracks running at an opposite angle with the main line with capacities starting at 125 cars and decreasing to 6 cars. The yard office would be relocated to near Gourlay Crescent and the abbattoir lead. Acquisition of one small industry and 8 houses was required. It would have been very disruptive during reconstruction.

Scheme 3 provided 100 car capacity tracks with the yard office also relocated to near Gourlay Crescent. It too would have required acquisition of one small industry and 8 houses. Relocation of the coaling plant to the north side of the shop tracks of Lambton roundhouse was involved.

Scheme 4 created a hump yard on the West Toronto side with the hump crest at Runnymede Road just as was the exisiting hump. Cars would be humped to the east with a long hump lead stretching west to the Humber River. Lambton yard, unchanged (tracks #1-20 90-16 cars; 1161 total), would handle all arrivals and departures. It would require a 1,682 foot retaining wall running eastward from Runnymede Rd. near the main line and a 470 foot wall by Lambton Roundhouse. Extention of Runnymede subway and a small extention of Jane Street subway would be required also a shop lead hump underpass track. It would require acquisition of four industries and 32 houses at a cost of over a half million dollars and would consume all of Ryding Avenue park, all houses and the street itself with the property line along the south side of a laneway between Ryding and St.Clair Ave. Relocation of the coaling plant and sand house was also required. Power switches and retarders would add another $850,000.

This plan made the most sense in getting a more up to date facility. The classification yard featured 40 tracks with a total standing capacity of 1231 cars as follows: 7 tracks 12-19 cars; 12 tracks 20-29 cars; 13 tracks 30-39 cars; 6 tracks 40-49 cars; 2 tracks 52 & 55 cars. Lambton #23 and 24 would continue to be used for inbound and outbound trains with the option of crossing over to/from the main lines at Runnymede. #24 was a lead for use by the Big Lead engine. Next to 23 is West Toronto 18 which would remain and could be used by a puller engine taking train to departure track in Lambton yard. Lambton would remain unchanged with tracks #1 to 20 holding 90 to 16 cars. The Here Yard would be greatly reduced from 13 tracks to 6 shortened tracks holding only 41 cars and Storage Yard 4 tracks eliminated, grand total 152 cars. A new Yard for storage would be built along Ryding Avenue with dead-end tracks at the east sidewalk of Runnymede, with 7 tracks holding 222 cars. A small 4 track yard next to West Toronto Scales would hold 67 cars.

The Grand Total of 2722 cars was a 27.5% increase of 588 cars.

COSTS: New 100lb. rail $86.00 per ton. New #2 ties $2.40 each. Complete track: $9.75 per foot. Relay 100lb. rail $22.00 per ton. Scrap rail $10.00 ton.

TRAFFIC HANDLED During July 1947 Lambton Yard received 1,531 trains handling a total of 53,033 cars.

Lambton Hump Yard This is an old 1950 blueprint. Due to the lack of colour in the scan, the red and yellow lines showing changes are not detectable. If you compare it to another plan of the yard you may be able to discern the changes. Concentrate on the area around Runnymede Rd. and the roundhouse, look for traditional hump layout there and to the west.


Obico Locomotive Terminal another old 1950 blueprint.

All of the proposals to expand Lambton and West Toronto Yards involved removal of the newest part of Lambton roundhouse, (at least 10 pits), to compensate and to allow for increased traffic an entirely new engine terminal was planned for the wye area of Obico officially M. 0.30 Mimico Cut Off on the site of an OCS coal dump. Lambton likely would still handle yard, way freight and assist engines, all using small power. Diesels might have been transfered from West Toronto roundhouse to close it.

It featured a 29 stall roundhouse with a 100' turntable. Two tracks ran into a built-on machine shop. There was also an attached power house. The four shop tracks had a coaling plant, sand house and cinder plant as well.

By comparison Lambton had a 37 stall roundhouse with a 90' table. John Street was 32 stalls with a 120' turntable. The old roundhouse at West Toronto with its 70' table was still in existance but used only minimally, it did however contain a diesel shop area. The back shop (erecting shop) was still in regular use.


A 2,020 foot connection on an 11 degree 30 minute curve would allow MacTier trains to enter or leave the yard without a backup move. It was nearly 50 years before this was finally completed in 1999!

The 1950 proposal would have cost about $650,000 exclusive of land acquistion but including the CPR's approximately $220,000 share of a new subway ($750,000 less $100,000 from the Federal grade crossing fund, and the balance split evenly between CPR, CNR, and City of Toronto.) The subway option was desired by the City to replace the old overhead bridge on Old Weston Road which did not extend far enough to include the busy MacTier Subdivision. Completion of this connection was to wait another 50 years!

Freight traffic density chart Toronto Terminals 1947 (BIG file!)

Expansion of Greater Toronto 1938-1948


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