West Toronto Diamond

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Coordinates: 43°40′02″N 79°27′36″W / 43.66722°N 79.46000°W / 43.66722; -79.46000 The West Toronto Diamond is a Canadian railway junction in Toronto, Ontario.

Located near the intersection of Keele Street and Dundas Street, it is near the Union Station terminal trackage operated by Toronto Terminal Railway (TTR). It links the tracks of Canadian National Railway with those of Canadian Pacific Railway. CP's West Toronto yard is located immediately to the west.

The junction was originally controlled by a complex interlocking built by Saxby and Farmer which controlled 21 switches, derails and locks, plus 17 signals. The interlocking was controlled from an interlocking tower located at the centre of the junction. In 1965 the interlocking was converted from local control to remote control, operated by the CP Toronto Terminal RTC in Montreal.

Both CN and CP had stations named West Toronto adjacent to the junction. The CN station, served by trains on the route to London via Guelph and Kitchener, was on the east side of the CN tracks at Old Weston Road and Junction Road. It closed in 1988.[1]

CP's West Toronto station was a more notable structure, on the west side of the CP tracks at Old Weston Road and Dupont Street. The station was closed when its last remaining train service, The Canadian to Vancouver, was rerouted in 1978.[2] Heritage interests had been talking to politicians about having it preserved when CP abruptly demolished the building on November 25, 1982.[3] It was one of a series of demolitions of closed stations they had carried out about that time, at least once using similar tactics.[4] After the demolition the company rebuilt the junction curves used by the new Milton line GO trains on a gentler alignment. The company claimed that this had been urgently necessary, that they had "tried" to give notice, that as a federally regulated company they did not need municipal permission, and that since the building was already closed it was no longer a station and so they did not need federal permission either.[3] However, the Canadian Transport Commission ruled on May 3, 1983, that the demolition was illegal.[5]

Construction work is underway to convert the West Toronto Diamond into a grade-separated junction allowing GO Transit, Via Rail and CN trains to pass through a new underpass of the CP Rail line without delays.

The West Toronto Diamond is often referred to as "the junction" and gives Toronto's The Junction neighbourhood its name.

In April of 2008, Metrolinx bought the Weston Sub from CN Rail to allow then to built the infrastructure that it needed to add more trains to the line, as well building the Union-Pearson Airport line that to start service in 2015 offering 15 minutes headway and a 25 minute trip each way. Also deal with the issue at the diamond.

The first Fly-Under bridge for CP mainline lines was put into position on September 01, 2013.

The Old Weston Rd bridge for the Fly-Under tunnel was put into position September 28, 2013. The bridge will support 2 tracks in place of the current one leading from CP Mactire Sub to the Lambton Yard on the Galt Sub for CP.

On Friday May 23, 2014 at 7:04:41 pm, the last GO train bound for Bramalea Station cross the grade crossing diamonds on the Weston Sub for the last time, as it was being relocated to the new track 1 in the new Fly-Under tunnel that weekend.

At 6:50 am on Monday May 26, 2014, the first GO train from Mount Pleasant Station descended into the new Fly-Under Tunnel as the first train that was 10 minutes late due to signal failure. The signal failure caused the cancellation of the first train of the day from Bramalea station.

On June 28, 2014 at 4:22 am, the diamonds were removed to allow the 2nd Fly-Under bridge supporting CP twin track mainline as well provision for 2 more to be moved into position. At 1:40 pm the bridge started to be moved into position and it was in place at 2:30 pm.

The 2nd Old Weston Rd bridge will be moved on July 27-28 weekend.

At the end of September, Old Weston Rd crossing will be open after 2 year closure due building these Fly-Under Tunnels.

When full construction of the West Toronto Diamond Grade Separation is completed by the end of 2014, there will be 4 tracks for the Weston Sub compared to the 1 north of St Clair Ave W and 2 at the now none existing diamonds. This ends 132 years that there has been diamonds in various location for the area after Ontario & Quebec Railway (OQ) built their line across the northern part of Toronto to the Village of Lambton Mills that cross Grand Truck Railway (GTR) and the Toronto Grey and Bruce Railway in 1882. In 1884, OQ and TGBR would become part of CP Rail.

With the removal of the diamond, residents will not hear the clicky-clack, thumb de thumb of trains crossing the diamond anymore. GO Transit, Union-Pearson Express and VIA Rail will not have to get permission or being delay crossing CP tracks anymore. CP can now run their trains faster through the area as well not having to deal with the expensive cost to maintain the diamond anymore. Its a win-win for everyone, but a costly project.

The cost to do this separation is close to $500 million, but will be paid back in full in a matter of years as more trains are added to all lines.

Close to 200,000 cubic meters of dirt was removed to build this grade separation, an amount that would fill 80 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Over 55,000 cubic meters of concrete were poured for these tunnels compared to the 40,500 that was used to build the CN Tower.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Via Rail timetables (with and without service), May 1 and October 30, 1988, reproduced in The Official Railway Guide, Aug/Sep 1988 and May/Aug 1989 issues respectively.
  2. ^ Via Rail "Western Transcontinental Services" timetables (with and without service), June 1 and October 29, 1978.
  3. ^ a b Ross Laver (November 26, 1982). "Station razed, Toronto to sue CP". Globe and Mail (Toronto). pp. 1–2. 
  4. ^ Orland French (December 1, 1982). "Toothless side of act revealed". Globe and Mail (Toronto). p. 7. 
  5. ^ Ross Laver (May 4, 1983). "Wrecking of station unlawful, CTC rules". Globe and Mail (Toronto). pp. 1–2. 

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