Lakeshore West line
|Daily ridership||60,000 (2014)|
|Opened||May 23, 1967|
Canadian National Railway
Canadian Pacific Railway
|Line length||63.2 kilometres (39.3 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Operating speed||150 km/h (93 mph) (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 Hamilton, with 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. The first train left at 4:50 am from Oakville bound for Toronto, ten minutes before service began out of Pickering. During the initial 3-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.
Initial service ran west of 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.
Work was recently completed to add a third track between Sixteen Mile creek and the Port Credit station. Combined with additional work undertaken since the early nineties, 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. This new station was built adjacent to the former CNR James Street station used by GO until 1996.
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.
As of 2009, GO Transit operates excursion trains to St. Catharines and Niagara Falls on summer weekends and holidays. 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.
On May 26, 2015, the Government of Ontario announced that service would be extended to Confederation GO Station in Stoney Creek. Construction is expected to begin in 2017, with the extension completed in 2019.
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. Metrolinx has also committed to eventually providing service every 15 minutes on the line, as well as electrifying railways. This work is expected to reduce some trip times by 20%.
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.
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. On March 27, 2012, a second segment was purchased to the west, to a point just west of Fourth Line in Oakville. 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.
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.
|Through service to the Lakeshore East line|
|Port Credit||Mississauga||MiWay||Future connection to Hurontario-Main LRT|
Hamilton Street Railway
|Rush hour service only|
Hamilton Street Railway
|Rush hour service only|
|St. Catharines||St. Catharines||St. Catharines Transit||Summer season only|
|Niagara Falls||Niagara Falls||
Niagara Falls Transit
WEGO Niagara Falls Visitor Transportation
|Summer season only|
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