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GO buys CN tracks
to improve commuter service

GO Transit is buying Canadian National’s Weston Subdivision for $160 million to help improve GO train service between Union Station and areas northwest of Toronto.

The Weston Subdivison is CN’s name for the tracks that extend from about Strachan Avenue and Wellington Street West in downtown Toronto, northwest through Toronto — and the former Town of Weston — to CN’s main east-west freight line near Steeles Avenue and Bramalea Road in Brampton.

GO currently operates its Georgetown commuter rail service over the line, but it plans to expand the line to include all-day train service to and from Georgetown, trains linking Toronto Pearson International Airport with Union Station and rush-hour commuter train service to and from Guelph.

The track also accommodates VIA Rail trains running between Toronto, and cities in southwestern Ontario, including Kitchener, London, Sarnia and Windsor. In total, the two passenger carriers operate 46 trains over the line every day, while CN also operates three daily local freight trains along the corridor.

Under its agreement with GO Transit, CN will continue to serve its freight customers on the Weston Subdivision. VIA will also continue to operate passenger trains on the line.

By owning the Georgetown rail corridor, GO can more easily increase service, build new infrastructure and expand its operations along that line. Buying the line also helps GO meet some of the goals of its strategic plan, GO 2020 (.pdf) (15.42 MB)

This month, Metrolinx is hosting a series of community open houses about its proposals to expand the Georgetown South rail corridor and build a link between Union and Pearson.

You can read Transit Toronto’s history of the Georgetown GO line by Daniel Garcia and Sean Marshall here.

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