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GO purchased the Don Branch in April 2009..

By shost at 10:01 pm on Thursday, October 7, 2010

Not really SW Ontario related, but it is Transit news not really reported elsewhere to date. Somehow slipping under the radar was news that GO Transit purchased the “Don Branch” from Canadian Pacific Railway in April 2009. Metrolinx (GO) has been purchasing rail corridors for years, usually after freight traffic has largely left the railway. Direct ownership of the rail corridor allows the Passenger operator to have  control of infrastructure and planning, as opposed to your GO train stuck behind a long freight train.  Nonetheless, the Don Branch purchase is interesting because NO go trains operate over this line, nor have they ever in regular service. This line would be required to operate on the Peterborough line if it ever was to return to passenger service. (The last passenger services over this line was the VIA Rail “dayliner” (RDC) service to Peterborough until 1990)

Here is informtion from Vanessa Thomas, GO Public Relations on the purchase, for the record:

Q – Can you confirm whether or not GO has purchased the “Don Branch” from the Canadian Pacific Railway? Is this indeed owned by Metrolinx or GO?

  • Metrolinx purchased the Don Branch, which is part of the CP Bellville Subdivision, from CP in April 2009.
  • The Don Branch is just over five kilometres of single track that connects the Union Station Rail Corridor to the CP Bellville Subdivision.
  • The Don Branch runs from around Queen St E. (just west of Don River), crosses over the Don River near Riverdale Park, continues north along the Don Valley Parkway, crosses over and under Bayview Avenue, to join with the CP Bellville Subdivision tracks near Millwood Road just north of the DVP.

Q Is there any documentation supporting this? There have been no press releases to this effect, despite the public releases for purchase of other rights of way in Toronto. 

  • The purchase agreement between GO and CP for the Don Branch would be the documentation that is on file with Metrolinx’s legal department.
  • For a number of years, the Don Branch has not been active, or used by CP, prior to the purchase by Metrolinx.
  • If the decision is made for future activation, this corridor will require significant capital rehabilitation work to be preformed.
  • No major announcement about the purchase of the Don Branch has been made to the media because there is currently no impact to members of the public, and there has been no decision as to how and when this infrastructure could be used.




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