Metrolinx on Dec. 15 purchased from CN the lower portion of the Newmarket Subdivision in central-north Toronto for C$68 million. The transaction gives Metrolinx end-to-end ownership of the 60-mile-long Barrie-Bradford GO Train corridor between downtown Toronto and Barrie, Ont. (map).
Metrolinx is the Ontario government Crown corporation responsible for the transportation network in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), from York and Durham through Toronto, Peel Halton and Hamilton. GO Transit, which is the operating division of Metrolinx, provides commuter rail and bus services in the GTA.
The acquisition fills the rail gap between the agency's east-west Union Station Rail Corridor in downtown Toronto, its Weston Subdivision in west-central Toronto, and the northern segment of its commuter rail-line reaching Barrie.
The line acquired by Metrolinx branches off the Weston Subdivision, acquired from CN earlier this year, in western Toronto's Parkdale neighbourhood and runs north past York University to connect with the agency's existing commuter line to Barrie. That line starts immediately north of CN's main east-west freight corridor that parallels Steeles Avenue between Keele and Dufferin streets. According to CN, GO currently runs eight commuter trains daily, Monday to Friday, between Toronto and Barrie over the Newmarket Subdivision, which also accommodates a daily CN freight train and VIA Rail Canada Inc.'s transcontinental passenger train three times a week.
Under its sales agreement with Metrolinx, CN will continue to serve five freight customers on the lower Newmarket Subdivision between Highway 401 and CN's main east-west freight corridor.