GO Transit GO-ALRT

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GO-ALRT (Advanced Light Rail Transit) was a rapid transit system proposed by GO Transit in 1982. The plan consisted of three lines: one along the Lakeshore between Hamilton and Oshawa, one paralleling Highway 401 between Oakville and Pickering, and another connecting Brampton and Mississauga. It was estimated that the plan would cost approximately $3 billion and take 20 years to fully implement. GO-ALRT was conceived under the administration of Premier Bill Davis and Transport Minister James Snow. However, the pair stepped down in 1985 and the plan fell to the wayside.[1][2]

The first phase of GO-ALRT was to be extensions of GO's existing Lakeshore line service. ALRT trains would connect Pickering GO Station to Oshawa in the east and Oakville GO Station to Hamilton in the west. It was estimated to cost $414-million and be completed in four years. The line in the east would parallel Canadian National's track toward Thickson Road where it would cross Highway 401 and follow the Canadian Pacific tracks into Oshawa. The line in the west would parallel Highway 403 to Kay Drage Park where a tunnel and elevated guideway would take it into Downtown Hamilton along York Boulevard.

GO-ALRT would have used vehicles with technology based on the Provincially developed Intermediate Capacity Transit System (ICTS). The lightweight, electric vehicles would be fully automated and make use of elevated guideways for portions of the route.[3] Unlike typical ICTS vehicles, they would use conventional electric motors, drawing power from a pantograph, instead of linear induction motors and an electrified rail.[4] Early drawings and scaled model show a train similar in appearance to the Mark I used on the Toronto Transit Commission's Scarborough RT, however they were arranged in articulated sets of three. Later drawings show cars with increased dimensions and capacity. The exterior appearance had also changed considerably.


  1. Chow, Jason. "Off the Rails." Toronto Life 08 2007: 27. ProQuest. 22 Jan. 2017.
  2. Bateman, Chris. 'That time GO Transit almost went electric." BlogTO. 03 July 2014.
  3. Romain, Ken. "UTDC has Work to '87 Totalling $1.5 Billion." The Globe and Mail Nov 07 1983 ProQuest. 22 Jan. 2017.
  4. Claridge, Thomas. "Price Tag for GO Extension Up by 50%." The Globe and Mail Dec 26 1983 ProQuest. 22 Jan. 2017.