looking down the tracks with crane off to the side

VIDEO: Davenport Diamond Guideway project reaches milestone

Crews on the Davenport Diamond Guideway project recently installed the first set of steel girders.

Nov 17, 2021

The Davenport Diamond Guideway project is reaching new heights with the installation of the first steel girders.

The girders were installed over a recent weekend as part of the construction of the CP Rail bridge.

For those not familiar with bridge construction, girders are large bridge segments that will support the track.

When it’s done, the bridge will eliminate the intersection where the Barrie GO tracks meets the CP tracks, allowing GO trains to travel above while CP freight trains pass underneath. This work supports GO Expansion for more frequent, all-day, two-way service on the Barrie Line.

The work took two full nights of work (Nov. 6-8) – about 20 hours total – to lift the CP bridge steel girders and beams into place.  

Watch the time-lapse video to see the girder installation in action:

Want to learn more?

The two outside girders are the largest components of the bridge, at 30 metres in length. Each girder weighs more than 53,000 kg, which is about the same as 32 regular cars. It’s no surprise a 600 ton crane (545 tonnes) was the go-to machinery to position these.

In the early hours of Nov. 6, the installation began on the end beams and first girder. And by early morning on Nov. 8, the second girder was set in place, followed by the installation of intermediate floor beams and braces to complete the bridge structure.

A large crane lifting metal beams at night

A 600-ton crane (545 tonnes) lifts the second girder into place for the CP bridge. (Metrolinx photo)

Crews worked to get the job done safely, all while interruptions to GO train service were kept to a minimum. Substantial planning and collaboration between Metrolinx, its contractor Graham, and Canadian Pacific helped ensure this major lift was completed successfully.

a freight train passes by the tracks in a blur

A CP train passing through the Davenport Diamond intersection during overnight girder installation. (Metrolinx photo)

While there is no GO train service overnight, CP trains run 24/7, which meant the operation was carefully managed to work with frequent CP freight trains passing directly through the work zone.

looking down the tracks with crane off to the side

Looking west at the north abutment and south transition wall of the CP bridge before girder installation. (Metrolinx photo)

For now, GO trains will continue to travel on the diversion track, which was installed in 2020 to allow GO service to continue running during construction.

The diversion track was the first key stage of construction as it temporarily moves the existing GO rail track structure to the east of the current railway to allow space to construct the elevated guideway. To learn more about the diversion track, read about it in a past story here.

Once the west mainline track is installed, trains will be moved up top onto the elevated guideway, allowing crews to remove the diversion track and complete the remaining at-grade work required for the project.  

Two trains run over and under one another on elevated tracks.

An artist’s rendering of the future CP bridge – looking east. All renderings subject to change. (Metrolinx image)

For more information on the Davenport Diamond Guideway project and to get the latest updates, sign up for Toronto West weekly e-blasts here or follow @GOExpansion.

You can also connect with the Metrolinx community relations team at TorontoWest@metrolinx.com.

by Teresa Ko Metrolinx communications senior advisor