Lakeshore West line

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Lakeshore West
GO Transit logo.svg GO Lakeshore West logo.svg
Lakeshore West GO Train Westbound.jpg
GO Train westbound past Sunnyside in Toronto
TypeCommuter rail
SystemGO Train
LocaleToronto; Mississauga; Oakville; Burlington; Hamilton
Stations13 (plus 1 under construction)
Daily ridership60,000 (2014)[1]
OpenedMay 23, 1967 (1967-05-23)
Canadian National Railway
Canadian Pacific Railway
Operator(s)GO Transit
Line length63.2 km (39.3 mi)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Operating speed150 km/h (93 mph)[2] (locomotive max)
Route map

GO Transit logo.svg GO Lakeshore East logo.svg GO Stouffville logo.svg GO Richmond Hill logo.svg
VIA Rail Canada simplified.svg BSicon SUBWAY.svg BSicon CLRV.svg
GO Transit logo.svg GO Milton logo.svg GO Kitchener logo.svg GO Barrie logo.svg
Long Branch
Port Credit
VIA Rail Canada simplified.svg
Burlington Junction
VIA Rail Canada simplified.svg
Hamilton Junction
Hunter Street tunnel
Hamilton GO Centre
GO bus symbol.svg
Hamilton Yard
West Harbour
Grimsby GO
VIA Rail Canada simplified.svg
Jordan Harbour
St. Catharines
VIA Rail Canada simplified.svg
Niagara Falls
VIA Rail Canada simplified.svg

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 rush hour service extending to Hamilton and summer weekend and holiday excursion service extending to 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.[3] The first train left at 4:50 am from Oakville bound for Toronto, ten minutes before service began out of Pickering.[4] 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.[5][6]

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.[5]

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.[5]

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.[5] On June 29, 2013, all day service was increased to operate trains every 30 minutes.[7]

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.

West Harbour GO Station opened in July 2015, serving as a second Hamilton terminus for rush-hour train service.[8] This new station was built adjacent to the former CNR James Street station used by GO until 1996.

Lakeshore West trains have become more and more crowded at rush hours, even though trains are often only ten minutes apart.[9] This has led to increasingly serious planning of electrified trains on the Lakeshore corridor, often termed GO Transit Regional Express Rail.


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 start an hour or two later on weekends and holidays. On weekdays, six trains serve Hamilton directly in the morning and the evening rush hour, four at Hamilton GO Centre and two at West Harbour GO Station. At other times, buses connect Hamilton GO Centre to Aldershot and Union Station.[10]

Since 2009, GO Transit has operated excursion trains to St. Catharines and Niagara Falls on summer weekends and holidays.[11] The train makes limited stops along the line (Exhibition, Port Credit, Oakville and Burlington) before continuing around Burlington Bay and heading east into Niagara Region.

In 2008, Metrolinx published its regional transportation entitled The Big Move. As part of this, the agency identified an express all-day service between Hamilton and Oshawa (via Toronto Union) as one of its top 15 priorities.[12] 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%.[13][14]

Niagara extension[edit]

Metrolinx is currently planning to extend regular service from West Harbour GO to Niagara Falls with intermediate stops in Stoney Creek, Grimsby, and St. Catharines by 2023.[15] An April 2011 report stated that the Grimsby Subdivision of the Canadian National Railway was the preferred corridor for service to the Regional Municipality of Niagara. The other option was the Hamilton Subdivision of the Canadian Pacific Railway.[16]

On May 26, 2015, the Government of Ontario officially announced that service would be extended to Confederation GO Station in Stoney Creek. Construction began in 2017, with completion expected in 2019.[17][18] In June 2016, Ontario Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca announced the line would be extended to Grimsby, with the Grimsby GO Station expected to open in 2021.[19]

In 2023, service is expected to begin to the St. Catharines and Niagara Falls Via Rail stations which will be upgraded to support GO service.[20] In total, the extension will include 4 stations and more than 25 kilometres of new track.[15]


In order to facilitate service expansions, GO Transit's parent agency Metrolinx has slowly acquired portions of all corridors of the GO Transit system from the freight railroads, Canadian National Railway (CN) and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP). Most of the Lakeshore West line operates along the Oakville subdivision, and until 1998, it was completely owned by CN.[21]

The first segment of the Oakville subdivision, between Union Station and 30th Street in Etobicoke (just west of GO's Willowbrook yard), was acquired from CN on March 31, 2010.[22] On March 27, 2012, a second segment was purchased to the west, to a point just west of Fourth Line in Oakville.[23] On March 22, 2013, Metrolinx completed a third segment purchase westward to a point just east of where the CN Halton Subdivision joins the line in Burlington.[24]

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. CP owns the tracks between the Desjardins Canal and the Hamilton GO Centre.[25]

Station list[edit]

Station Municipality Services Connections Notes
Union Toronto VIA Rail Canada simplified.svg Canadian/Corridor/Maple Leaf
GO Transit logo.svg GO Lakeshore East logo.svg GO Milton logo.svg GO Kitchener logo.svg GO Barrie logo.svg GO Richmond Hill logo.svg GO Stouffville logo.svg GO bus symbol.svg
BSicon SUBWAY.svg TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg BSicon CLRV.svg TTC
Through service to the Lakeshore East line
Exhibition BSicon CLRV.svg BSicon BUS1.svg TTC
Mimico BSicon BUS1.svg TTC
Long Branch BSicon CLRV.svg BSicon BUS1.svg TTC
Port Credit Mississauga Bus interchange MiWay Future connection to Hurontario LRT
Oakville Oakville VIA Rail Canada simplified.svg Corridor/Maple Leaf
GO Transit logo.svg GO bus symbol.svg
Bus interchange Oakville Transit
Bronte Bus interchange Oakville Transit
Appleby Burlington Bus interchange Burlington Transit
Burlington GO Transit logo.svg GO bus symbol.svg
Bus interchange Burlington Transit
Aldershot VIA Rail Canada simplified.svg Corridor/Maple Leaf
GO Transit logo.svg GO bus symbol.svg
Bus interchange Burlington Transit
Hamilton Hamilton GO Transit logo.svg GO bus symbol.svg
Bus interchange Hamilton Street Railway
Bus service only during off-peak
West Harbour GO Transit logo.svg GO bus symbol.svg
Bus interchange Hamilton Street Railway
No service off-peak
Confederation TBD Opening 2019[26]
Grimsby Grimsby TBD Opening 2021[27]
St. Catharines St. Catharines VIA Rail Canada simplified.svg Maple Leaf
St. Catharines Transit
Summer service only
Niagara Falls Niagara Falls VIA Rail Canada simplified.svg Maple Leaf
GO Transit logo.svg GO bus symbol.svg
Niagara Falls Transit
WEGO Niagara Falls Visitor Transportation
Summer service only
Service Legend
L Local Operates at all times
E Express Operates only weekday peak periods in the peak direction
N Niagara Operates only on Fridays and weekends during summer months


  1. ^ "Regional Express Rail" (PDF). Metrolinx. 5 September 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Quick Facts: GO Trains (Sept 2012)" (PDF). GO Transit. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
  3. ^ GO celebrates 40 years of success
  4. ^ GO Transit First Employee Timetable
  5. ^ a b c d Garcia et al.: Lakeshore corridor
  6. ^ Sergeant, Ch.4: Buying the trains.
  7. ^ Kalinowski, Tess (19 April 2013). "GO trains to run every 30 minutes all day on Lakeshore lines". Toronto Star. Toronto Star Newspapers. Retrieved 2013-04-19.
  8. ^ "First commuters ride GO from Hamilton's new West Harbour station". CBC News. 9 April 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-15.
  9. ^ "Lakeshore East & West". Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  10. ^ Lakeshore West
  11. ^ Niagara on the GO
  12. ^ The Big Move Archived 2010-06-18 at the Wayback Machine., Section 5.2: The first 15 years. Retrieved July 23, 2010
  13. ^ Lakeshore West GO line
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ a b "Metrolinx: For a Greater Region - Niagara". Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  16. ^ R.J. Burnside & Associates Limited (April 2011). Niagara Rail Service Expansion Environmental Study Report (PDF) (Report). Go Transit. p. 1. MTB 157050.2. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  17. ^ Ontario Investing Up to $1 Billion for Light Rail Transit in Hamilton
  18. ^ Hamilton to get a new LRT and GO Train station
  19. ^ "Work begins in 2017 on GO train expansion into Niagara". The Canadian Press. 28 June 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  20. ^ "Boards for St Catharines" (PDF). Metrolinx. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ "CN - CN sells Greater Toronto Area rail lines to Metrolinx for GO Transit services".
  24. ^ "CN - CN sells Oakville-Burlington, Ont., line segment to Metrolinx for GO Transit commuter rail service".
  25. ^ Metrolinx Rail Corridor Ownership
  26. ^ "Stoney Creek Public Meeting Presentation Boards" (PDF). Metrolinx Engage. November 27, 2017. p. 8. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  27. ^ "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

General references[edit]


External links[edit]