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Willowbrook GO Yard Details
| Willowbrook 1967 | Willowbrook Yard 1978 | Willowbrook Yard 1986 | Click: Willowbrook Yard 2002 | Willowbrook Yard Operations (2002) |
| The 'Bubble' | North Bathurst Street Yard |
| GO Motive Power Index | Main Telegraph Website |

Willowbrook Yard

Willowbrook Yard is the Maintenance Depot for all GO Transit operating rail equipment. It is located in the City of Toronto's west end (Etobicoke) and just north of the Canadian National Railway's Oakville Subdivision (between mileage 6.8 and 7.8). It is adjacent to the CNR Mimico Station. Willowbrook occupies the land used by the CNR car repair track which was left vacant when the CNR opened up Toronto Yard in Maple.

The Maintenance Depot is under the direct supervision of an Equipment Foreman. The Yard itself consists of a repair shop, cleaning, maintenance, and storage tracks for diesel and coaches. The eastern shop track limit is located on the shop track lead approximately 150 feet east of the east ladder track switch. The western shop track limit is located on the shop track lead approximately 3,400 feet west of the west ladder track switch.

All movements on shop tracks must be governed by speed restriction signs located east and west of the shop track leads.

Communication contact point is the Equipment Foreman's Office radio which set on continuous monitoring.

Willowbrook Yard contains three separate operating yards: the North, the south, and Storage Yards.

    • This yard is made up of four tracks numbered 5 to 8 from south to north.
    • Track 5 leads through the Maintenance building (14 cars)
    • Track 6 is used for storage and is dead-ended at both ends of this building (9 cars)
    • Track 7 and 8 are used for servicing the self-propelled rail cars (D700-D708) (10 and 7 cars respectively)
    • This yard consists of 4 tracks numbered 1 to 4 from south to north
    • Track 1 through 4 used for locomotive and coach servicing as needed
    • Track 1-9 cars; Track 2-11 cars; Track 3-11 cars; Track 4-12 cars
    • This yard consists of 2 tracks numbered 9 and 10 from south to north
    • Track 9 and 10 used to accomodate the overflow of on-rail equipment when the South Yard is filled to capacity
    • Track 9-15 cars; Track 10-15 cars

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Willowbrook GO Yard - 1978

Because of the tremendous success of GO Transit's performance, routes, and supportive programs, the Toronto Area Transit Operating Authority (TATOA) realized that improved facilities were required at the Willowbrook GO Yard.

As a result of considerable consultation with Canadian National Railways, the City of Etobicoke and its residents in the area the following upgrades were made effective:

  • Employee Parking on site
  • Moving the CNR Industrial leads to north end
  • A modern Maintenance and Service Building with improved machine shops, and repair
  • A West Consist Storage Yard and an East Consist Storage Yard for routine maintenance
  • Fuelling tracks and sanding facilties east end
    • F1,2,3 north side / F1 & 2 for equipment going around the shop to the west storage; F3 for the PM tracks and wheel bay
    • 4 & 5 south / for east storage
  • Coach yard on east side
  • Crew Centre for rest overs, train orders and bulletins, recreation

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Willowbrook GO Yard - 1986 (Map Only)

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Click: Willowbrook Yard 2002

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  • Crews must ensure all electrical wayside power connections and ground air supply lines are removed before releasing hand brakes
  • Departure times must be maintained on time
  • Departure time applies when a train is required to move from its designated departure track - all deviations must be reported to Commuter Services Supervisor
  • Departure from Willowbrook shop track require CC permission
  • Trains departing via signal No. 066 or Canpa must advise CC when they have received a permissive signal
  • Trains departing North Bathurst Street Yard for Union must contact CC and John Street Tower before making movement
  • Trains departing for Bradford, Stouffville and Henry Street Storage track must contact the RTC prior to movement
  • Trains arriving at Union must ensure that when stopped their consist does not foul any adjacent tracks
  • Train movements must be spotted at appropiate markers
  • Crews must ensure that train consists are properly spotted for electrical wayside power and ground air supply lines
  • All trains while yarding must move at restricted speed but not to exceed 10 MPH
  • Before entering the Yard a member of the crew must contact the Willowbrook CC and yarding instructions prior to entering shop track limits
  • Shop track limits will be designated by sign
  • Trains yarding at other than fuel tracks will make a full service brake application, apply handbrakes
  • Trains yarding at fuel tracks will spot train as instructed by Willowbrook CC or shop personnel
  • Trains yarding in tracks equipped with wayside power (tracks 06-16) will spot leading unit for wayside power
  • Crews must not leave consist foul of other inbound power

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The 'Bubble' is the heart of GO Transit's commuter operations. As part of the Toronto Area Transit Operating Authority (TATOA) modernization program in 1980, the original centre was retired which had been in operation since 1967.

The 'bubble' is designed to handle the increased commuter traffic with CNR personnel covering the area 24 hours a day with double coverage during rush hour traffic.

This new facility provides a direct communication link between TATOA, the CNR and CPR railway police, GO Transit security, and Toronto Terminals Railway (TTR).

There are five commuter service supervisors who make immediate decisions about train operations and GO facilities and structure.

The Commuter Services Supervisor reports directly to the Superintendent of GO Operations. This supervisor is responsible for monitoring all phases of GO operations for CNRail and CPRail and provides online supervision and decision making for train crews.

Instructions are issued to train crews from the 'bubble' under constant radio and cell phone communication.

The Duties of the Commuter Services Supervisor include, but not in order:

  • Monitoring UHF radio and RTC telephones
  • Interaction with equipment personnel at Willowbrook Yard
  • Continuous contact with all GO personnel
  • Constant train contact
  • Observing on time performance of arrivals and departures at Union Station
  • Arrange track assignments whenever necessary
  • Making appropiate platform announcements over the PA system
  • Contact and decision making with TTR, Crew Management Centre, CN Police, CP Police, CN Transportation Officers, CN and CP RTCs, emergency services personnel
  • Exchange of equipment or equipment failures
  • Routing trains through Willowbrook Maintenance Facility to change consists, refuel, other
  • Transferring passengers
  • Short-turning and/or running trains non-stop in the event of onboard or other emergencies or serious delays
  • Re-cycling equipment account service disruption
  • Holding trains for bus connections
  • Monitor train and crew performance

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The following procedures are observed at BSNY:

  • When 12 car consists are in operation and scheduled to store at Bathurst North, track 2 and 3 must be left clear of other trains and reserved for these longer consists
  • Trains operating west through BSNY to pick up deadhead crews, load them, then pull down to within 100 feet of signal No. 101 - this will activate the annunciator alarm at John Street alerting TTR train is ready to leave the yard
  • Contact must be made with the CC prior to departing BSNY as well Train Movement Director at John Street must be contacted and permission received to depart the yard
  • Crews on trains scheduled to store in BSNY or crews scheduled to operate via North Bathurst Street to pick up or drop off other crew members, may be changed due to service requirments
  • On occassions when changes are required other crews than listed may be required to operate their equipment to or from Willowbrook

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