GO Train in its early days
GO Train and downtown Toronto in 1980
GO Transit or Government of Ontario Transit was created as a three-year experiment on 23 May 1967 running DMUs along the rail line in the Greater Toronto Area along the shoreline of Lake Ontario. GO Trains carried 2.5 million riders in its first year and was considered a success. The GO Bus as extensions of the train services started in 1974. Today the GO system carries more than 50 million riders annually and the vast majority of them are carried by GO Trains. On 11 October 2006, GO announced that it had achieved its one billionth passenger mark.
GO's newest addition to its bus fleet
GO Trains today (left: MP40PH-3C, right: F59PHI)
Current service map of the GO Train
Thinner gray lines represent the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) subway
There are currently 7 GO Train lines centred at Union Station in downtown Toronto. The Lake Shore West and East lines offer all-day train services while the other lines offer single-directional rush-hour train services (to Union Station in the morning and from Union Station in the evening) and bi-directional train-bus replacement during the day and on weekends/holidays. A seasonal bike-train service, or Greenbelt Express, is also offered since 2009 from May through to September on weekends and holidays between Toronto and Niagara Falls. The majority of tracks GO operates on are owned by the Canadian National Railway with the exception of the Milton line which is mostly owned by Canadian Pacific. Metrolinx has recently purchased portions of the Lake Shore West line and the entire Barrie line from Canadian National. GO also owns the GO Subdivision parallel to the CN Kingston Subdivision on the Lake Shore East line between Pickering and Oshawa. GO Train crews are contracted from Bombardier Transportation since recently except for the Milton line where Canadian Pacific crews still run the trains. Modern GO Trains operate in push-pull mode with the locomotive (MPI MP40PH-3C or EMD F59PHI) on one end and a cab car on the other end. All trains use Bombardier Bi-Level coaches (designed for GO Transit and later became popular for a variety of North American commuter railroads, also see West Coast Express) and one train consists of 10 or 12 cars (maximum seating capacity of 1,944 with 12 cars).
GO Train with F59PHI in Whitby, ON doing 82 mph (132 km/h)
Pretty faces of the MP40PH-3C, designed for GO Transit
As part of the MoveOntario 2020 transit plan announced by the provincial government in 2007, several extensions and upgrades are planned for existing GO Train services and three additional commuter rail lines on the Canadian Pacific are also proposed. An airport rail link between Union Station and Pearson International Airport via the Georgetown line is also scheduled to be completed by 2015 in time for the Pan American Games in Toronto.