Lakeshore West line
|Locale||Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, Grimsby, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls|
|Stations||15 (plus 1 under construction)|
|Daily ridership||33,500 (2019)|
|Opened||May 23, 1967|
Canadian National Railway
Canadian Pacific Railway
|Line length||132 km (82 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Operating speed||150 km/h (93 mph) (locomotive max)|
Lakeshore West is one of the seven train lines of the GO Transit system in the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada. It extends from Union Station in Toronto to Burlington, with occasional trips extending to Hamilton, St. Catharines, and Niagara Falls.
The Lakeshore West line is the oldest of GO's services, opening as part of the then-unified Lakeshore line on GO Transit's first day of operations on May 23, 1967. The first train, numbered 946 left at 5:50 am from Oakville bound for Toronto, ten minutes before service began out of Pickering. During the three-year experiment, all day GO Train service ran hourly from Oakville to Pickering with limited rush hour train service to Hamilton. The experiment proved to be extremely popular; GO Transit carried its first million riders during its first four months, and averaged 15,000 per day soon after.
Service began running west from Union, stopping at Mimico, Long Branch, Port Credit, Lorne Park, Clarkson, and Oakville. Rush-hour trains ran to Bronte, Burlington and Hamilton, at the former CN railway station at James Street.
GO trains started serving the Canadian National Exhibition in August 1967 from an older platform just west of the Dufferin Street bridge over the Lakeshore West line and the Queen Elizabeth Way. For the 1968 Exhibition season, temporary booths were set up to handle passengers, which topped 24,000 on the season's busiest day. This prompted the need for a proper station with additional capacity, and by the 1968 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, the current Exhibition GO Station was built and put in service.
Lorne Park Station closed within the first year of the line's operation. Burlington was re-located approximately 750 metres eastward in March 1980. Appleby GO Station opened on September 19, 1988, followed by Aldershot on May 25, 1992. The opening of Aldershot coincided with the extension of all day and weekend service from Oakville to Burlington, however, this was reversed due to budget cuts on July 3, 1993.
Service to Hamilton was re-routed from the James Street station to downtown, at the current Hamilton GO Centre on April 29, 1996. All day service to Burlington was restored on May 1, 2000, and extended to Aldershot on September 7, 2007. On June 29, 2013, all day service was increased to operate trains every 30 minutes.
A third track was added between Sixteen Mile creek and the Port Credit station. Combined with additional work undertaken since the early 1990s, this gives the Lakeshore West line at least three tracks from Union Station through to Bayview Junction.
In 2009 as a pilot project, GO began operating express trains to St. Catharines and Niagara Falls on weekends and holidays during Niagara Region's busy summer tourist season. The service was provided again during the 2010 season, and was officially made permanently recurring starting in 2011. In 2019, the weekend express service began operating year-round.
West Harbour GO Station opened in July 2015, serving as a second Hamilton terminus for rush-hour train service. This new station was built adjacent to the former CNR James Street station used by GO until 1996.
On January 7, 2019 one weekday round-trip was extended beyond West Harbour station to Niagara Falls.
On weekdays, trains run on the Lakeshore West line every 30 minutes or better between approximately 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. eastbound from Aldershot, and between approximately 6 a.m. and midnight westbound from Union. Service starts an hour or two later on weekends and holidays. On weekdays, eight trains serve Hamilton directly in the morning and the evening rush hour, four at Hamilton GO Centre and four at West Harbour GO Station. At other times, buses connect Hamilton GO Centre to Aldershot and to Union Station. One of the weekday trips to West Harbour station also continues to Niagara Falls.
On weekends, local service operates every 30 minutes between Aldershot and Union, and additional express trains operate between Toronto and Niagara Falls stopping only at Exhibition, Port Credit, Oakville, Burlington and St. Catharines.
As part of the 2008 Metrolinx regional transportation plan entitled The Big Move, the agency identified an express all-day service between Hamilton and Oshawa (via Toronto Union) as one of its top 15 priorities. Metrolinx has also committed to eventually providing service every 15 minutes on the line, as well as electrifying railways. This project, dubbed Regional Express Rail, is expected to reduce some trip times by 20%.
Metrolinx is currently planning to significantly expand regular service between Burlington and Niagara Falls, with new stations to be built in Stoney Creek and Grimsby, in addition to the existing stations in St. Catharines and Hamilton.
Construction began in 2017 on the new Confederation GO Station in Stoney Creek, with completion expected in 2019. In June 2016, Ontario Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca announced that regular service would be extended to Grimsby, with the Grimsby GO Station expected to open in 2021. In 2023, enhanced service is expected to begin to the St. Catharines and Niagara Falls Via Rail stations which will be upgraded to support increased GO service. In addition to station upgrades, the extension project would include more than 25 kilometres of new track.
In November 2018, Metrolinx halted the delivery process for the stations in the Niagara extension because the newly-elected Government of Ontario rescinded its funding for their construction. In order to be constructed, the stations would instead be dependent on private financing.
In order to facilitate service expansions, GO Transit's parent agency Metrolinx has gradually acquired portions of the Lakeshore West corridor from the freight railway companies Canadian National Railway (CN) and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP). Most of the Lakeshore West line operates along the Oakville subdivision, which was entirely owned by CN prior to 1998.
On March 31, 2010, GO acquired its first segment of the Oakville subdivision, between Union Station and 30th Street in Etobicoke (just west of GO's Willowbrook yard). On March 27, 2012, GO purchased a second segment immediately to the west, extending its ownership to a point just west of Fourth Line in Oakville. On March 22, 2013, Metrolinx purchased a third segment extending its ownership westward to a point just west of Burlington station, where the CN Halton Subdivision joins the line.
In addition to the Union Station Rail Corridor, these three segments represent Metrolinx's current ownership of the line. CN continues to own the tracks between Burlington and the Desjardins Canal, as well as the Grimsby subdivision that carries trains into Niagara Region. CP owns the tracks between the Desjardins Canal and the Hamilton GO Centre.
|L||Local||Operates at all times|
|E||Express||Operates on weekday peak periods in the peak direction|
|W||Weekend express||Operates only on weekends|
|Union||Toronto||●||●||●|| Canadian/Corridor/Maple Leaf
|Through service to the Lakeshore East line|
|Port Credit||Mississauga||●||｜||●||MiWay||Future connection to Hurontario LRT|
|Oakville||Oakville||●||●||●|| Corridor/Maple Leaf
|Aldershot||●||●||｜|| Corridor/Maple Leaf
Hamilton Street Railway
|Bus service only during off-peak|
Hamilton Street Railway
|No service off-peak|
|St. Catharines||St. Catharines||●||●|| Maple Leaf
St. Catharines Transit
|Peak hours service on weekdays|
Limited excursion trains on weekends
|Niagara Falls||Niagara Falls||●||●|| Maple Leaf|
Niagara Falls Transit
WEGO Niagara Falls Visitor Transportation
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- GO celebrates 40 years of success
- GO 50th Anniversary
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- The Big Move Archived 2010-06-18 at the Wayback Machine, Section 5.2: The first 15 years. Retrieved July 23, 2010
- Lakeshore West GO line
- Tess Kalinowski, Transportation reporter (17 April 2015). "GO to add almost 50 per cent more trains in next 5 years". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2016-03-30.
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- Ontario Investing Up to $1 Billion for Light Rail Transit in Hamilton
- Hamilton to get a new LRT and GO Train station
- "Work begins in 2017 on GO train expansion into Niagara". The Canadian Press. 28 June 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
- "Boards for St Catharines" (PDF). Metrolinx. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
- LaFleche, Grant; Sawchuk, Bill (30 November 2018). "Grimsby GO station plan 'will be stopped'". The St. Catharines Standard. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
- "CN - CN sells Greater Toronto Area rail lines to Metrolinx for GO Transit services". newswire.ca.
- "CN - CN sells Oakville-Burlington, Ont., line segment to Metrolinx for GO Transit commuter rail service". newswire.ca.
- Metrolinx Rail Corridor Ownership
- "Stoney Creek Public Meeting Presentation Boards" (PDF). Metrolinx Engage. November 27, 2017. p. 8. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
- "New Weekday GO Rail Service Planned Between Hamilton and the Niagara Region". News Release. Ministry of Transportation. June 28, 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
a new station on Casablanca Boulevard in Grimsby
- Daniel Garcia and James Bow. "GO Transit's Lakeshore Line". Transit Toronto. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
- Sergeant, Wilfred (2004). "Building GO-Transit: The Rail Commuter Initiative of The Government of Ontario & Canadian National Railways, People in the project 1965-1969". Starkville, MS: HTA PRESS.
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