Photos from 1971 remind what GO Transit was like decades ago

It’s been awhile since we brought you images of the past – a reoccurring feature we call ‘HistoricGO’. But coming across these pictures, we thought it was a good chance to peek back 50 years ago for Ontario. Was that your father’s VW bug in the parking lot?

Just in the nick of time.

Before the calendar clicks over to 2022, Metrolinx News recently came across a bundle of images showing the GO Transit network back in 1971.

That was four decades ago, and while the pictures may not have seemed remarkable at the time – just scenes of trains moving along tracks, bus shelters under clear skies and customers buying physical tickets – they capture black and white moments in cultural and transit time.

So here’s how things looked – before PRESTO and most modern stations and even masks – 50 years ago.

Image shows a bus pulling to a stop.
A GO bus pulls up to a stop in Pickering, Ont. (Metrolinx photo)
Image shows a stop.
A stop in Oshawa waits for customers and the next GO bus to arrive. (Metrolinx photo)
Image shows a parking lot.
The Oshawa GO Bus Terminal in 1971. (Metrolinx photo)
A customer walks up steps to an awaiting GO train.
A customer walks up steps to an awaiting GO train. (Metrolinx photo)
A customer buys a ticket.
A customer walks by a GO Transit employee, as a mother and child buy a ticket, in this image that seems to have been taken inside Union Station. (Metrolinx photo)
A GO bus pulls up to Newmarket Station.
A GO bus pulls up to Newmarket Station – now part of the Barrie GO Line – at the time this was taken, it was known as the Bradford Line. (Metrolinx photo)
The Whitby GO bus terminal at Highway 401.
The Whitby GO bus terminal at Highway 401. (Metrolinx photo)
A GO train moves down a line.
An original model GO train moves down the tracks, double-decker train cars – known as bi-levels – weren’t introduced until the late 1970’s. (Metrolinx photo)
GO trains line up in Willowbrook, as they undergo service at the rail maintenance station.
GO trains line up at GO Transit’s Willowbrook yard in Etobicoke, as they undergo service at the rail maintenance station. (Metrolinx photo)
A GO train is seen moving along a section of rail.
A single level GO train is seen pulling into a station. (Metrolinx photo)
A customer buys a GO Transit ticket from an agent in this shot from 1971.
A customer buys a GO Transit ticket from an agent in this shot from 1971. (Metrolinx photo)
Cars line a GO station parking lot.
Cars line a GO station parking lot. (Metrolinx photo)
A GO Transit parking lot, as seen from the rail platform.
A GO Transit parking lot, as seen from the rail platform. (Metrolinx photo)
A man buys a ticket from an agent.
A man buys a ticket from an agent. (Metrolinx photo)
The Newmarket GO Station in 1971.
The Newmarket GO bus station in 1971 – GO trains didn’t start serving this station until the early 1980’s (Metrolinx photo)
A GO train moves down the tracks.
A GO train moves down the tracks. (Metrolinx photo)
A customer buys a ticket.
A customer buys a ticket. (Metrolinx photo)
Cars park at a GO station in this 1971 image.
Cars park at a GO station in this 1971 image. (Metrolinx photo)