GO Transit says trains will not be able to service Niagara Falls GO, St. Catharines GO, Hamilton GO or West Harbour GO stations on Tuesday morning due to an ongoing rail blockade.
“We are still blocked from going beyond Aldershot GO station,” Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins said.
Protesters set up a rail blockade along the train tracks between Aldershot GO and Hamilton GO in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Nation hereditary chiefs who oppose the 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern British Columbia.
The blockade began hours after the Ontario Provincial Police dismantled a blockade in Tyendinaga, just east of Belleville, Ont., that lasted nearly three weeks.
Disruptions caused GO Transit to suspend service along the western portion of its Lakeshore West line during the evening peak rush hour and disruptions are continuing into the Tuesday morning commute.
Aikins said passengers who normally get on at Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Hamilton or West Harbour GO stations will not be able to get on those trains, however shuttle buses are running.
“It’s an uncertain situation,” Aikins said. “We are doing the best we can. We are hoping for customers’ patience on this. It’s beyond our control.”
Aikins added that the tracks where protesters have established their blockade is not owned by Metrolinx.
“In the area where this police investigation is underway, it is not our tracks. It’s not Metrolinx owned tracks so we don’t have jurisdiction over it. So the CN police are there, along with Hamilton police and our transit safety officers are there, but their role is to observe and to ensure everyone stays safe and beyond that, there is no action that we can take.”
According to the Wet’suwet’en Strong: Hamilton in Solidarity Facebook group, a post on Tuesday morning said: “It’s a new day, and we started it by burning the injunction delivered by CN rail” encouraging others to join the protest.
According to GO Transit’s website, the following trains will not operate Tuesday morning:
- Niagara Falls 5:23 – Union Station 7:50
- West Harbour GO 6:09 – Union Station 7:20
- West Harbour GO 7:09 – Union Station 8:20
Other routes have been replaced with shuttle buses. For Hamilton and West Harbour passengers:
- West Harbour: Departures at 6:09 and 7:09 – replaced by shuttle buses to Aldershot GO
- Hamilton: Departures at 5:48, 6:18, 6:48 and 7:18 – replaced by shuttle buses to Aldershot GO
GO Transit said Route 18 bus service from Hamilton GO to Aldershot GO will run as normal.
“For Hamilton and West Harbour customers who may choose to drive in, given the limited parking at Aldershot GO you may want to consider using Burlington, Appleby or Bronte GO stations,” the website read.
For Niagara Falls and St. Catharines passengers, the following routes have been replaced by shuttle buses:
- Niagara Falls: Departure at 5:23 – replaced by shuttle bus to Burlington GO
- St. Catharines: Departure at 5:46 – replaced by shuttle bus to Burlington GO
GO Transit said Route 12 bus service from Niagara Falls Bus Terminal and St. Catharines Fairview Mall will run as normal.
The Ontario Provincial Police was also forced to shut down Highway 6 in Caledonia, about 25 kilometres away from Hamilton, following a blockade there that began mid-afternoon on Monday.
The affected portion of the highway was between Argyle Street South and Greens Road, near the Six Nations reserve. As of 6:45 a.m. Tuesday, the road was still closed.
— With files from Nick Westoll.