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micheal_can

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Id have to really dig, its been over 5 years since it was discussed. Maybe someone else on the forum can help me out.

But basically in order to have the airport spur connected to a heavy rail line such as the Georgetown corridor, it had to be built to mainline standards even though that was way more than what was necessary to adequately support the relatively light UPX trains.

I'm not sure what mainline standards entails but I was told basically you could run a full 12 car go train on it no problem.

Its why the spur looks so overbuilt, and was a significant cost of the UPX.
So, a heavy freight train could physically go right to the Pearson station without issue?
 

mdrejhon

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So, a heavy freight train could physically go right to the Pearson station without issue?
Theoretically, but the curve radius of the spur isn't suitable for the Bombardier BiLevels as far as I know. Not 100% sure. (@smallspy ?) Though, future heavy double decker EMUs -- with the right bogies -- probably could navigate it with less issue.
 

Admiral Beez

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Malton GO didn't exist back then?
That brand, no I suppose not. But when they were planning Pearson they should have connected the existing passenger rail between the Malton area and Toronto’s Union Stn. Or, inversely, when the new Malton stn was planned in the early 1970s it should have been to Pearson. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malton_GO_Station

Of course the station needs better service as well. I remember starting my very job in freight forwarding in 1995 at Airport Road and Orlando and seeing the Malton station. I immediately thought that’s the better way to get from my place downtown to work. But no, the trains only ran outbound from Union in the afternoon.
 
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Neutrino

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That brand, no I suppose not. But when they were planning Pearson they should have connected the existing passenger rail between the Malton area and Toronto’s Union Stn. Or, inversely, when the new Malton stn was planned in the early 1970s it should have been to Pearson. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malton_GO_Station

Of course the station needs better service as well. I remember starting my very job in freight forwarding in 1995 at Airport Road and Orlando and seeing the Malton station. I immediately thought that’s the better way to get from my place downtown to work. But no, the trains only ran outbound from Union in the afternoon.
Was there passenger service to Malton before the airport was planned? If so, I agree with you - it would have been great if the airport was planned around that station. On an unrelated note - what was traffic on the 401 like in the late 90s? Asking out of curiosity because you would have been taking it just as I was not too long out of the "oven."
 

Admiral Beez

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Was there passenger service to Malton before the airport was planned? If so, I agree with you - it would have been great if the airport was planned around that station. On an unrelated note - what was traffic on the 401 like in the late 90s? Asking out of curiosity because you would have been taking it just as I was not too long out of the "oven."
I was living in a large basement apartment at Woodbine and Danforth back then ($700 a month, inc. heat, hydro, water and a/c) and was taking the subway to Yorkdale and the GO bus to the airport. It took sometimes 1.5 hours from door to door. In those days before tablets and smartphones I read a lot of books.

Yes, when Pearson was being planned there was a passenger rail station nearby. With the area around Pearson’s future site being essentially torn out, it would have been easy to connect a rail link. And it wouldn’t be rocket science, as by the 1960s other North American airports had rail links. Others, like Chicago added rail links in the 1980s https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/O'Hare_station

Here’s the extract from the above Malton station Wikipedia article...

The original site of Malton railway station was approximately 0.8 km (0.5 mi) west of the current GO Transit facility, where Scarboro Street crosses the tracks. The first station was a wood frame structure built in 1856 by the Grand Trunk Railway(GTR), which was superseded by a second frame building in 1912. Ownership of the station was transferred to Canadian National Railway in 1920 when they acquired the GTR and they demolished that station in 1973.[3]
 

Neutrino

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Cheers, I knew I would get in trouble for not opening the Wiki article lol
 

lenaitch

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Pearson is on the plot of the original Malton Airport which dates back to the1930s which is across the road from what are now Derry and Airport Roads. I can guarantee that commuter rail was on no one's mind back then, and probably barely a consideration in 1964 when the original 'modern' Terminal 1 was built, let alone as a way to get to an airport. Heck, I can recall when access to the airport was solely via Airport Rd.
Probably their last reasonable opportunity was the spur that serviced Victory Aircraft>AVRO>McDonnell-Douglas to the airport side of Airport Rd. that snaked through the International Centre.
 

Admiral Beez

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I can guarantee that commuter rail was on no one's mind back then, and probably barely a consideration in 1964 when the original 'modern' Terminal 1 was built, let alone as a way to get to an airport.
The history of Pearson’s development certainly agrees with you. I think a rail link in the 1970s or early 80s wouldn’t have been logically impossible.

That said, Pearson’s original designers could have done it. Having mainline rail to airports was already a thing by then https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airport_rail_link
 
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mdrejhon

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This was all in the rail downturn before something called "Amtrak" and "VIA" existed

It didn't even cross Pearson's mind in the days of Aeroquay (R.I.P. and god bless) -- I remember that place well as a kid.

209123

Aeroquay One -- an auto-accessible-only terminal, with no chance of rail. Credit: Historic Toronto

Trains were on a ginormous decline then thanks to the blank cheques for the freeways of the era, we were equally under the aura of the freeway boom. That love affair that truly sparked with General Motor's amazing Futurama (stacked freeway exchanges in 1939!) that millions of visitors visited at New York World's Fair 1939 -- including Eisenhower's family, who will later by the 1950s put it into reality. A love affair that truly lasted until roughly around the dregs of the 1973 Oil Crisis, LA peasoup smog, and surburb-expropriation protests. The heavily-subsidized freeway boom in this era really erased many railway chances off the map.

Aerpquay is the beautiful seminal auto-love-affair optimized terminal.

Thoughts of a Pearson rail link back then? Egads. Steampunk science fiction!
 
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44 North

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Back in the late 60s a connection to Pearson was on Metro's mind (and likely prov gov't). Whether Pearson was into it or were too car focused is another story. But smart minds were aware it was a key node and worthy of railed public transit eons ago. Not just a commuter rail connection but also an intermediate/light rail. Conceptual, but still on the radar.

1969-plan.jpg

1969 TTC plan
 

mdrejhon

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Beautiful aspirational map of an ARL -- GO Transit started in 1967 and soon Davis was to stop the Spadina Expressway in 1971. This was the era when it was finally time to start dreaming about rail again. Still so much headwind of the era.

I see many elements of that 1960s map in Metrolinx 2041 RTP map. Perhaps 2060s?

How times has changed. We now have an ARL today and now Pearson is now begging to become the 2nd Union station.
 
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lenaitch

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The history of Pearson’s development certainly agrees with you. I think a rail link in the 1970s or early 80s wouldn’t have been logically impossible.

That said, Pearson’s original designers could have done it. Having mainline rail to airports was already a thing by then https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airport_rail_link
Many or most of those examples are from countries that actually had an inter-city rail network, as opposed to ours which had been in decline since the '30s. It was a social change - they trains were still there but ridership was steadily declining. The democratic and flexible personal movement by car was becoming king; seen as an problem now, particularly urban, but seen as something easily accommodated and desirable back then when both population and air travel were much lower.

I think sometimes we (general or royal 'we') condemn planners, engineers and politicians of the past with lacking an unrealistic level of foresight. Should rail builders of the late 19th century be condemned for not building lines that were dead straight and flat so as to accommodate HSR - something they couldn't realize in their wildest dreams let alone sell to the taxpayer. There is fairly general view that people like R.C. Harris were an exception.
 

Admiral Beez

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Thoughts of a Pearson rail link back then? Egads. Steampunk science fiction!
I have to agree. But in the 1980s or 1990s it was entirely doable. I remember when I first started working at the airport as a summer job in 1992 and seeing the train station and wondering what the hell, there's a train station right there. When the VISTA lot people mover train was being built I immediately thought that it was to finally connect Malton GO to the airport. You'd think they could at least have shuttle buses.

The fact that Malton GO was never used as a rail link to Pearson is a stain on government and planning.
 

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