Hamilton, Ont. (Bayview Jct.)

Canada's two main railroads cross paths near a wye-shaped junction
CN at Bayview Jct., Ont.
A CN intermodal hotshot heads east on the Dundas Subdivision at Bayview Junction in Hamilton, Ontario, on July 2, 1989.
Howard Ande
For a first-hand look at Canada's major railways, there are few places better than Bayview Junction in Hamilton, Ontario, where two of Canadian National's busiest lines converge at a wye. Canadian Pacific comes through here, too, on a parallel line, and passenger trains of VIA Rail Canada, Amtrak, and GO Transit add to the variety.

Bayview Junction is one of fve Canadian hot spots profiled in Kalmbach's Guide to North American Railroad Hot Spots by TRAINS Senior Editor J. David Ingles. Read below:

Bayview is one of three control points on a wye-shaped junction at the convergence of Canadian National's busiest lines in southwestern Ontario: the east-west Dundas Subdivision, and the Toronto-Hamilton Oakville Subdivision.

Bayview is the easternmost control point on the wye, and the point where the Dundas Sub diverges from the Oakville Sub. A connecting track known as the "cowpath" forms the west side of the wye, running from Hamilton Junction on the Oakville Sub to Hamilton West on the Dundas.

En route from Niagara Falls to Guelph Junction, Canadian Pacific's Hamilton Subdivision connects with the CN at Hamilton West, but also continues northward, paralleling the cowpath, then crossing the Dundas Sub on an overpass just west of Hamilton West.

Type of operation
Mainline freight and passenger action.

CN freight traffic is heaviest, with the greatest volume on the Dundas Sub, which is part of the Toronto-Chicago main line. However, nearly a dozen freights are routed through Hamilton, bound to and from the Buffalo gateway.

CPR operates about a half-dozen Toronto-Buffalo trains, some of which exercise trackage rights on the CN Oakville Sub between Hamilton and Toronto.

A pair of daily Norfolk Southern St. Thomas-Buffalo freights bypass Bayview Junction proper, utilizing the cowpath to connect from the Dundas Sub to the Oakville Sub.

VIA Rail Canada passenger trains to Sarnia, Windsor, and Niagara Falls, and Amtrak/VIA's Toronto-New York Maple Leaf all pass through Bayview. So do Toronto-Hamilton GO Transit commuter trains bound for GO's former Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo station in downtown Hamilton.

Typical motive power
All types of CN, CP, and NS road power. Pool units, especially UP and BNSF are not uncommon. VIA trains have F40PH-2s and P42s. GO trains have F59PHs.

Peak operating hours
Early morning and late afternoons are busiest, but traffic is heavy all day.

Approximate daily train frequency
About 75 trains daily, including approximately 14 VIA trains and 6 GO trains.

Radio frequencies
Canadian National: 161.415 (road), 161.025 (dispatcher)
Canadian Pacific: 160.815 (road), 161.325 (dispatcher)

Nearby points of interest
The Dundas Sub climbs the Niagara Escarpment to Copetown, with good photo locations at Dundas and Copetown.

RailAmerica's Southern Ontario Railway operates former CN terminal and industrial trackage in Hamilton.

Food and lodging are plentiful in the Hamilton/Toronto area. The Hamilton Botanical Gardens, next to the Bayview triangle, offers parking, as does the Spring Garden walk-bridge.

Safety considerations
The Botanical Gardens' Spring Garden pedestrian overpass bridges the Oakville Sub immediately east of Bayview. More than 90% of the trains through the various control points pass beneath this bridge.

Overpasses and scenic overlooks throughout the entire Bayview triangle afford good vantage points to observe and photograph from public property.

Contributor: Greg McDonnell
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BNSF Railway's Willow Springs Intermodal Yard 


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