davenport diamond metrolinx

Toronto's new elevated rail line is speeding through construction in rare transit win

It almost feels wrong to write, but construction for a Toronto transit project is actually moving quickly for once. Like, I'm talking unbelievably fast.

Metrolinx's Davenport Diamond Guideway project is proving itself to be the oddball of new commuter infrastructure in the city, an uncharacteristically weird instance of a transit line actually materializing at an impressive pace in a city where such projects often move at a crawl (I'm looking at you, Eglinton Crosstown LRT).

The regional transit agency is touting that it "has made substantial progress" on the grade separation project, which will reroute the Barrie GO Line onto a new elevated corridor, allowing it to travel above Canadian Pacific freight train tracks and traffic and ease a longstanding bottleneck in rail traffic.

Aerial footage of the line's construction backs up Metrolinx's claim that things are racing along, and this flyover video offers some amazing views of the ongoing work on the elevated guideway and its associated bridges, underpasses and other major components.

Among the project elements covered are the new Bloor Street Bridge, which recently had the first of two spans completed, paving the way for a new west mainline track and the construction of a new east span after the removal of an existing diversion track in 2023.

One of the key motivations behind the project is the bypassing of the Davenport Diamond – a CP Rail and Barrie GO Line interchange considered one of the busiest rail intersections on the continent.

A new rail bridge bypassing traffic over the CP tracks is now complete, which will allow GO trains to travel freely above CP trains and eliminate a bottleneck in rail traffic.

The project's elevated guideway has made impressive progress in 2022, forming a 1.4-kilometre stretch of some very visible infrastructure spanning from approximately Bloor Street West to just south of Davenport Road.

Its portion between Wallace Avenue and the CP Rail and Barrie GO Line intersection is pressing along at a noticeably quick pace, a combination of the project's high visibility and the modular construction methods used to form the guideway and its sculptural supports.

Metrolinx's investment in the guideway is a key component in its pledge to support improved two-way, all-day train service in both directions on the Barrie Line.

But it will also be a big win for the communities it runs through, eliminating ground-level rail tracks and reconnecting long-severed neighbourhoods through various east-west connection points for pedestrians and cyclists.

Lead photo by

Metrolinx


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