West Toronto Diamond
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Coordinates: The West Toronto Diamond is a Canadian railway junction in Toronto, Ontario. It connects the Metrolinx Weston Subdivision, which carries the GO Transit Kitchener line, UP Express and Via Rail Corridor passenger services, to the CP North Toronto Subdivision, which is the Canadian Pacific Railway's main freight line across Toronto. It is located near the intersection of Keele Street and Dundas Street in Toronto.
The West Toronto Diamond is often referred to as "the junction" and gives Toronto's The Junction neighbourhood its name.
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.
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. Heritage interests had been talking to politicians about having it preserved when CP abruptly demolished the building on November 25, 1982. It was one of a series of demolitions of closed stations they had carried out about that time, at least once using similar tactics. 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. However, the Canadian Transport Commission ruled on May 3, 1983, that the demolition was illegal.
In April 2008, Metrolinx bought the Weston Sub from CN Rail to allow them to expand the railway to support increased train service along the corridor.
The junction was grade separated to move the Metrolinx Weston subdivision into a trench, passing underneath the CP North Toronto subdivision. The project was designed to accommodate a widened Weston subdivision, increasing from 2 tracks to 4. The new underpass began operation on May 26, 2014.
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.
- 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.
- Via Rail "Western Transcontinental Services" timetables (with and without service), June 1 and October 29, 1978.
- Ross Laver (November 26, 1982). "Station razed, Toronto to sue CP". Globe and Mail. Toronto. pp. 1–2.
- Orland French (December 1, 1982). "Toothless side of act revealed". Globe and Mail. Toronto. p. 7.
- Ross Laver (May 4, 1983). "Wrecking of station unlawful, CTC rules". Globe and Mail. Toronto. pp. 1–2.