Milton line

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GO Milton logo.svg
Milton GO Train Eastbound.jpg
GO Train south of Queen Street West,
travelling eastbound to Union Station
OwnerCanadian Pacific Railway
LocaleToronto; Mississauga; Milton
TypeCommuter rail
SystemGO Transit rail services
Operator(s)GO Transit
Daily ridership30,000 (2014)[1]
OpenedOctober 25, 1981 (1981-10-25)
Line length50.2 km (31.2 mi)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Operating speed75 mph (120 km/h)
Route map

50.2 km
Milton Yard
37.2 km
32.7 km
29.1 km
24.8 km
Hurontario LRT
20.0 km
GO Transit logo.svg Canpa Sudbdivision
to Long Branch
15.6 km
BSicon SUBWAY.svg TTC - Line 2 - Bloor-Danforth line.svg
Mimico Creek
Humber River
North Bathurst Yard
0 km
Union Station
VIA Rail Canada simplified.svg BSicon SUBWAY.svg TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg BSicon CLRV.svg
GO Transit logo.svg GO Lakeshore East logo.svg GO Richmond Hill logo.svg GO Stouffville logo.svg

The Milton line 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 Milton, by way of Mississauga.

Milton line map (circa 2022)


The Canadian Pacific Railway strongly resisted all efforts to put passenger trains on company-owned tracks to avoid disturbance of freight activity into Toronto.[2] Due to the 1979 Mississauga train derailment and efforts made by Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, there was increased pushback for a passenger train line.[3] McCallion and Mississauga city council threatened to sue CP for the cost of the emergency services and mass evacuation caused by the derailment on the CPR line near Mavis Rd. As part of the compromise that got the suit dropped, CP agreed to drop its long-standing objection to passenger service on its freight line.[4]

Following a promotional opening on Sunday October 25, 1981, regular service began the following Monday.[5][2] Six trips were operated from 2002–2009 and five before this. From 2009–2011, there were seven inbound and seven outbound train trips daily. An eighth train was added to the morning and afternoon runs in 2011 and a ninth train started on January 5, 2015.[6] On February 25, 2016, a tenth train was announced for the 2016–17 fiscal year, as part of the 2016 Ontario budget process.

The Ontario government is working with Metrolinx to have more train service along the Milton line, known as the GO Transit Regional Express Rail, over the next decade. During peak hours, trains would run in peak direction every 15 minutes along this line.[7]

Waterloo Region[edit]

Bus service was expanded into the cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo in October 2009. Several bus routes operate between the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, the Charles Street Transit Terminal in Kitchener, and the Cambridge SmartCentre shopping centre to the Square One Bus Terminal in central Mississauga, including a small number of trips connecting with the train service at Milton GO Station.

The Regional Municipality of Waterloo funded a study indicating that a $110 million extension of the Milton line could bring trains to Cambridge by 2012, with possible stations at Guelph Line in Campbellville, Highway 6 in Puslinch, and at Franklin Boulevard (a park and ride) and Water Street (downtown with transit connections) in Cambridge.[8] However, the plans didn't come to fruition when an environmental assessment became a victim of budget cuts. GO Transit expects expansion of train service to Cambridge to happen in the 15 to 25 year time frame, after passenger capacity upgrades at Milton to relieve current train overcrowding.[9]

In September 2016, GO Transit created a new bus service to connect Cambridge and Milton on weekday mornings during peak travel times, with six return trips in the evening.[10] This bus route averaged only five passengers per trip and was cancelled in June 2019 due to low demand.[11]

Town of Milton[edit]

Regional Express Rail (RER) is part of the Province’s ‘Big Move’, a $50-billion public transit expansion adopted in 2008 to reduce traffic congestion in the GTHA. Part of the original plan announced in 2008 was the implementation of two-way, all-day rail service to Milton, slated to be in place within 15 years of the announcement (2023). In the 2012 ‘Big Move Update’, this timeline shifted to a 16-to-25-year planning horizon.[12] As a result of this deferral to a longer-term timeline for the improvements, Milton town councillor Rick DiLorenzo has referred to the Milton line as the "orphan" of Metrolinx.[12] Regional Chair Gary Carr said it feels like the rug was being pulled from underneath them with these sudden changes that affected Halton towns such as Milton and Georgetown. "If the Big Move projects benefiting Halton are delayed, Halton will not be able to meet provincial growth plan targets. The transportation system mode split and level of service objectives will not be met," said Tim Dennis, Halton's regional transportation services director.[13]

Making matters worse for Town of Milton residents, the 2012 Big Move update document indicates that RER all-day, two-way service will only extend as far west as Meadowvale station in Mississauga, and will not service Lisgar station in Mississauga, nor Milton's station, service which had been promised by the provincial Liberals Halton candidate during the 2011 election.[14][15][16][17] This change was approved in February 2013.[18]

The discrepancy appears to come between conflicting stated goals between the Big Move (full two-way, all-day service to Milton within 15 years) and GO 2020 (two-way, all-day service only to Meadowvale station in 15 years, and to Milton and Lisgar within 25 years). An objective of The Big Move Update is to align the GO 2020 plan and The Big Move. Reports cited "significant infrastructure and operational challenges that mean it will not be possible to deliver two-way, all-day service all the way to Milton in the 15-year time horizon. Additional tracks and potentially numerous grade separations are necessary are a prerequisite to the expansion of service to Milton. The construction is especially challenging through built-up areas. This rail corridor is largely owned by CPR, a private third party operating freight rail. Their approval is required for any service and infrastructure expansion. Two-way, all-day service can be delivered to Meadowvale in the 15-year timeframe, but the full extension to Milton can only be delivered over the 25-year horizon."[18]

The new proposal in the 2020 strategic plan includes these new revised service levels, with buses extending service westward:[19]

  • Peak Service: 15-minute or better train service for Meadowvale, with express service during high-demand periods. Counter-peak service every 30 minutes.
  • Off-Peak Service: All-day service twice hourly to Meadowvale with bus service to Milton.

2015 developments[edit]

In April 2015, Metrolinx in partnership with the Town of Milton launched a pilot project through an app called Rideco which allows GO riders to book transportation to and from the Milton GO Station. This is due to the Milton station's parking lot being full by the time the second morning train arrives. As North America's fastest growing community for the last decade, the parking lot has increasing been in demand by new residents and those driving in from Cambridge.[20]

2017 developments[edit]

In 2017, at a Region of Halton planning and public works committee meeting Halton Region director of planning and chief planning official Ron Glenn said, "The timing for the Milton two-way, all-day GO is in the post 25-year horizon. Interestingly enough, we had a discussion with Metrolinx this week about creating a focus group on getting a defined time for the two-way, all-day GO service in Milton as a priority." The information was shared with regional councillors at a February 8 planning and public works committee. On February 17, Metrolinx, through Halton MPP Indira Naidoo-Harris, challenged that assertion, saying, "Metrolinx is not aware of any sources that would lead to the information that was posted in the Milton Canadian Champion article. We are still working toward better service on the Milton GO line."[21]

Station list[edit]

Milton line locomotives at rest in the Campbellville yard. (circa 1990)
Station Municipality Connections Notes
Milton Milton GO Transit logo.svg GO bus symbol.svg
Bus interchange Milton Transit
Lisgar Mississauga GO Transit logo.svg GO bus symbol.svg
Bus interchange MiWay
Bus interchange Brampton Transit
ZUM logo.svg  511 
Meadowvale GO Transit logo.svg GO bus symbol.svg
Bus interchange MiWay
Streetsville GO Transit logo.svg GO bus symbol.svg
Bus interchange MiWay
Erindale GO Transit logo.svg GO bus symbol.svg
Bus interchange MiWay
Cooksville GO Transit logo.svg GO bus symbol.svg
Bus interchange MiWay
Future connection to Hurontario LRT
Dixie GO Transit logo.svg GO bus symbol.svg
Bus interchange MiWay
Kipling Toronto BSicon SUBWAY.svg TTC - Line 2 - Bloor-Danforth line.svg
Bus interchange TTC
Bus interchange MiWay
To be served by GO buses in the future[22]
Union GO Transit logo.svg GO Lakeshore West logo.svg GO Kitchener logo.svg GO Barrie logo.svg GO Richmond Hill logo.svg GO Stouffville logo.svg GO Lakeshore East logo.svg GO bus symbol.svg
Mainline rail interchange UP Express logo.svg VIA Rail Canada simplified.svg Amtrak
BSicon SUBWAY.svg TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg

BSicon CLRV.svg Bus interchange TTC


In 2015, Metrolinx released a list of potential sites for construction of new GO train stations. For the Milton line, the sites include:[23]

Selection of some station sites would preclude other sites. Only one of The East Mall and The West Mall sites would result in a potential future station, as would only one of the Liberty Village, Queen Street West-Dufferin, and Dundas West sites. The potential site for The East Mall or The West Mall is south of Dundas Street West near its intersection with Highway 427. After a business case, none of these stations were determined to have a positive economic impact and thus were removed from the Regional Express Rail plan.[24]

On August 10, 2021, the federal government indicated a willingness to partially fund an upgrade to the Milton line to handle all-day, two-way train service, but gave no timeline or a specific funding amount. Such an upgrade would cost about $1 billion. Before 2020, the line carried 30,000 passengers per day; however, freight traffic was a constraint against expansion of commuter service.[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Regional Express Rail" (PDF). Metrolinx. 5 September 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b Muller, Jane (28 October 1981). "GO officials surprised by use of train". Canadian Champion. p. 1. Retrieved 2022-09-23.
  3. ^ Louise Birks, Mary; Stewart, John (14 November 1979). "The question is: Why chlorine and propane together?". The Mississauga Times. p. 2. Retrieved 2022-09-23.
  4. ^ "Riding the rails into Mississauga's past". Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  5. ^ Garcia, Daniel; Bow, James. "GO Transit's Milton Line". Transit Toronto. Retrieved February 25, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "Extra GO train added". The Milton Canadian Champion. 2009-06-24.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Ontario Improving GO Transit Service Along All Corridors". Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  8. ^ " - Local - Study supports $110M GO train plan from Milton to Cambridge". 6 October 2009. Archived from the original on 6 October 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  9. ^ "Waterloo Region Breaking News - Waterloo Region's Online Newspaper -". Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  10. ^ "New GO bus service between Cambridge, Milton starting Sept. 6". Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  11. ^ Draaisma, Muriel (5 June 2019). "GO Transit to cut 3 bus routes, reduce service on 2 others to save $3.7M yearly". Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  12. ^ a b Williams, Rachael (7 April 2015). "Milton to press Metrolinx for two-way, all-day GO service". Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Mayor says Metrolinx's Big Move is now 'Big Stall'". 17 April 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  14. ^ "The Big Move: Next Wave Projects" (PDF). Metrolinx. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-11-26.
  15. ^ "Halton candidates state their election platforms". 15 September 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Liberals promise increased GO train service". 15 September 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  17. ^ "Final debate". Inside Halton Sep 30, 2011
  18. ^ a b "The Big Move Update – Recommended Changes" (PDF). Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  19. ^ "GO Transit Strategic Plan 2020" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-01-03. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  20. ^ "Metrolinx, Milton launching pilot project to deal with parking overflow: report - CityNews Toronto". 25 March 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  21. ^ O’Hara, Catherine (17 February 2017). "Metrolinx challenges Champion story about all-day, two-way GO train service to Milton". Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  22. ^ "Kipling Transit Hub".
  23. ^ Woo, Leslie (22 September 2015). "New station analysis: Methodology and process" (PDF). Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  24. ^ "Regional Express Rail: Stations for Consideration" (PDF). Metrolinx. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  25. ^ "Feds say they'll chip in on Milton GO train corridor expansion, but no firm funding announced". Global News. August 10, 2021. Retrieved August 11, 2021.

External links[edit]