CN Signal Work Sends VIA onto Freight-Only Line

VIA Rail Canada trains recently operated over a freight-only stretch of track in Ontario, thus giving rare mileage riders some bonus coverage.

VIA normally uses the Canadian National Oakville Subdivision in the Toronto region but it was closed for two days for signal and infrastructure work.

That sent VIA detouring over the Halton Subdivision. Affected were VIA trains Nos. 71, 72, 75, and 7.

The reoute added 30 minutes to their schedules and they were able to continue stopping in Aldershot, Brantford, Ingersoll, Woodstock, London, Glencoe, Chatham, and Windsor.

The 25-mile freight-only segment used by VIA detours was between Silver and Burlington West, 25 miles.

CN rebuilt it in 1964 for use as a cutoff to bypass downtown Toronto and to reroute freight traffic to Toronto’s Macmillan Yard.

Milton, Ontario, in the middle of that freight-only section is served by GO Transit commuter service on CP Rail’s Galt Subdivision but the CN route has never had regular passenger service since the upgrade aside from a few passenger reroutes every few years.

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