One of the busiest rail sections in North America gets major work done – New time-lapse video shows recent work on Davenport Diamond Guideway project

While most of us spent the September long weekend enjoying the last bit of summer, construction crews were working hard to reach a major project milestone. Recently, the old and well known Davenport Diamonds were removed and replaced by a temporary rail diamond that aligns with the new diversion track on which GO trains are now running. And we have a time-lapse video that shows the effort.

They carved out a diamond.

Earlier this month, crews worked around the clock over the long weekend to connect the new diversion track to the existing main line track and install a temporary diamond crossing where the north-south Barrie GO line meets the east-west CP Rail tracks.

Talk about a labour on Labour Day.

Track is put down by a large machine.
On Sept. 5, CP crews surface the track through the new north diamond panel (Metrolinx photo).

The section is commonly known as the Davenport Diamond, and is one of the busiest train intersections in North America.

The work carried out at this very busy train intersection was captured through a time-lapse video, speeding up four days of continuous work into half a minute. It’s not only a testament to the work, but those experts who perform these kinds of major rail advancements, usually far from the public’s eye.

How did they do it in such a busy spot? In order to perform this work safely and prepare the diversion track for service, trains on the Barrie GO line were suspended following the last northbound train on Friday evening, just prior to the September long weekend.

Tractors move a section of tracks.
On Sept. 6, CP crews set the new south diamond panel in place (Metrolinx photo).

On Tuesday morning, trains were passing through the Davenport area and rolling into Union Station on the new diversion track.

And why is this a milestone? Glad you asked.

With trains now running on the diversion track, construction on the elevated guideway can begin. The elevated guideway will be built on the west side of the rail corridor while trains continue to run on the diversion track on the east side of the corridor.

Crews move a section of track.
On Sept. 6, CP crews align the new diamond to the diversion track (Metrolinx photo).

In case you missed it, get all the details on what it took to build the diversion track here.

A GO train goes over tracks.
On Sept. 7, a GO test train passes over the newly installed diamond on the diversion track (Metrolinx photo).

And to get the latest on the Davenport Diamond Guideway project, sign up for our Toronto West weekly e-blast here.

Story by Teresa Ko, Metrolinx communications senior advisor