The extension of GO Train service to Stoney Creek and Niagara is inching closer to reality.
Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale Liberal MPP Ted McMeekin and St.Catharines Liberal MPP Jim Bradley, were joined Thursday by Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger, for a symbolic groundbreaking at the future station site on Centennial Parkway.
McMeekin says timelines have not changed and the Confederation GO station is expected to open by the end of 2019.
He adds that the project will include the construction of a station building, an island platform with canopy and a pedestrian tunnel “to allow people to access both sides of the corridor.”
Commuter GO train service into Grimsby and St. Catharines remains on schedule to follow in 2021, and to be extended to Niagara Falls in 2023.
McMeekin stresses that frequency of service, including long-awaited all-day GO train service into Hamilton remains subject to ongoing negotiation with CN Rail, which owns the rail line.
He notes that “you can’t run trains if you don’t have tracks.” Eisenberger stresses that the high-level bridge on York Boulevard is one area of concern, adding that “there’s a need potentially to twin track or just get track capacity.”
Bradley is excited about the future extension into Niagara Region, noting that there are people driving into Hamilton and Burlington now to board the GO train. He adds that “we want to be able to get on the train in Niagara Falls, in St. Catharines, in Grimsby.”
Metrolinx, the province’s transportation agency, announced $200 million for the Confederation GO station in 2015, along with line capacity improvements, at the same time that it committed $1 billion to Hamilton’s LRT project.