The missing link is a plan to route CP freight traffic via the CN line that roughly follows the 407 across the top of Toronto instead of via CP’s midtown line which is close to Dupont. A new line of railway, for which land is available would run from 407/401 area to the CN line near Bramalea. Also connections between CN and CP would be necessary both in Milton and near the Scarborough/Pickering line.
The proposed line would free up both GO’s Milton and Kitchener lines of freight, and facilitate all day/evening trains on both lines without extensive works to expand them, a desirable situation.
The West End Mayors
This initiative is the brainchild of mayors and councilors of Milton, Cambridge, and Mississauga, who have already commissioned a study.
The new line would have many advantages, including removing most freight from midtown, especially those frequent and feared oil trains.
But over and above the objectives of the mayors, the scheme should result in making most of CP’s midtown line available for some new routes and midtown destinations for GO, besides relieving Union.
The new freight route would be an improvement for CP, who would access their Scarborough McCowan yard from the north and east. It would also allow them to eventually sell off or make available their midtown line, which of course GO should jump at, but brings up a thing called ‘Arbutus’, a CP owned and disused line in Vancouver (remember CP bulldozing allotments) which the city wants to buy, but with enormous differences between CP’s ask $100m vs City offered $20m.
New Routes – Smart-ER-track
Since CP’s midtown line is straight and fast, it would be a good candidate to host services, not instead of but in addition to Union, from the likes of Kitchener, Cambridge, Brampton and Hamilton to Peterborough, Seaton and possible future Pickering airport.
History buffs could celebrate the return of long gone stations, names like West Toronto, Summerhill, and Leaside (step aside Crosstown, the ‘Leaside’ name is taken, the real Leaside no less!).