GO turns 45 on May 23
Did you GO in 1967?
Contact us at go45@gotransit dot com if you or
someone you know rode
the GO Train 45 years ago.
The service began on Tuesday May 23rd 1967 and achieved 8,000
riders on the first day and within 8 months 15,000 riders per day. One
day during the first year of service to the Exhibition GO carried 24,000
passengers. Within 30 years GO Transit achieved 100,000 riders per day.
Many of the original parking lots had to be expanded right away.
GO had proved that automobile commuters would switch to an alternative
commuter rail service provided it was reliable, clean and maintained a
consist level of on time performance. Before the two year demonstration
was up the provincial government deemed the GO service a great success
and that it was here to stay. If GO Transit had a problem in the early
years it suffered from its own success and it took years to catch up to
meet the growing demand it has finally achieved today.
May 23, 2012 GO Transit celebrates it 45th anniversary and continues to
GO employee, April 1967 - September 1995
On Friday May 19th, 1967 a nice shiny new tin box was delivered
to the Burlington station on Brant St. Being naturally curious, I asked
what it was and was told they are the new GO Transit tickets, which we
would be selling the following week. I was already selling rail tickets
for CN and CP passenger trains, Hamilton Commuter trains, CN Express,
taking care of billing and telegraph duties.
Tuesday, May 23rd arrived and the new service began. At
Burlington, there were only two morning and two evening GO trains. In
addition to the GO Train passengers, I was assisting CN passengers
headed to Montreal for Expo '67.
These new tickets came as singles or books of ten and were split in two.
The passenger would deposit one half in a fare box at the station when
commencing their trip and the other half in the fare box where they
exited the system. Since Burlington wasn’t yet set up for this system,
my GO Transit hat acted as the farebox. I would stand on the platform,
hold out my hat, and passengers would drop their ticket halves into it.
It was a navy blue Conductor’s hat with a green band around it.
These are my recollections of GO Transit’s beginnings, a far cry from
its present and future.
Darrell (still working with GO 45 years later!)
I’ve been riding the GO since the first day it started up, back
in 1967. As a 16th birthday gift my dad let me miss a day of school and
he took me downtown for lunch at Basil’s Restaurant in Toronto. We
boarded the train at Port Credit. I still remember arriving at Union
Station and walking out and seeing this gigantic building towering to
the sky—the Royal York Hotel. For reasons that still escape me, we
walked all the way up to Gerrard Street to Basil’s, and after lunch
walked all the way back down to Union to board the train back to Port
Credit. Lots of exercise to work off my birthday lunch—chocolate milk,
corned beef hash, and apple pie for dessert. Coming home, I remember
watching the clouds over Lake Ontario.
I now take the GO Bus to work every day.
Wow, I was in grade 4 at the time. Our grade 4 class was the
first to ride the GO from Pickering to Toronto and back. Our school was
a 4 room school. We all thought we were pretty cool to be riding the
I often think of that time and certainly wished that I had taken
pictures of the changes over the years. I have taken the train off and
on throughout the 45 years and still continue to take it every day.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY GO TRANSIT
Well I can’t say I’ve been riding it continuously since ‘67 but I
do remember riding the GO Train to the Exhibition from Port Credit
Station as a little girl. There was the original ticket system where you
had to give half a ticket to get on the train and the other half to get
off the train. And the original all silver one level train!
I can say without a doubt that GO has been a huge part of my life.
Thanks for the great service over the years.!
I remember when the Pickering GO Station was opened in 1967 as a
Centennial Project. My grade 7 class had a class trip to the Toronto
Centre Island and the highlight of the trip was the ride on the GO Train
ride. I don’t recall much about the ride because I sprained my ankle
before I even got on the train so it put a damper on my day!
I rode the GO train on the very first day of operation. I was
still in school at the time. When I heard the premier (Mr. Robarts, I
believe) announce that the first day's rides were free I went to Union
Station after school and took a train west to Oakville and back to
Union. I did not become a frequent rider of the GO system until 1970
when I moved near the Long Branch station. I was a daily user when
working downtown but still a frequent user when not working downtown. I
continue to use the GO train, and occasionally trains and buses to other
destinations than Union, about three round trips a week.
I started to take the go train back in 1967, the same year I began
working and am still at it, same year as our last Stanley Cup as well,
we are in good company
I can remember my first GO train ride on September 3rd 1967 from
Pickering to CNE Exhibition to see the Canadian International Airshow
with my family. Being a 9 year old, I was fascinated by the GO train
with it’s big new dark blue and white locomotive, and the brand new
Hawker-Siddeley uni-level coaches.
I still take the GO train today and I am amazed at the transformation
that GO has made over the decades. Keep up the great work and Happy
I began taking the GO in June of 1967 from Clarkson station.
I am retired now and will be 76 this June but still ride the GO.
Sent from my iPad
I rode GO Transit on the first weekend it was open in 1967. With
three companions, we went from Union to Oakville, walked to downtown
Oakville and then back to the train.
GO through photo history