GO to boost morning service
Published: April 12, 2008
Source: Daniel Nolan - The Hamilton Spectator
Hamilton will have one additional morning commuter
train by the end of the year.
The GO Transit board yesterday approved awarding a $6.1-million contract to a Markham company to build a new train layover facility east of the Hamilton GO Centre on Hunter Street West.
The facility will keep four 12-car GO trains in Hamilton each night, ending the shuttling of them back to the GO yard in Mimico, and allow GO to add one more morning train to Union Station in Toronto.
The facility, with realigned tracks and a maintenance building, is set for completion in spring 2009, but service is to start in December.
Councillor Bob Bratina, a member of the GO board, said the move will also end delays and cancellations of morning GO trains from Hamilton because sometimes the shuttling between Mimico and Hamilton was interrupted by freight train movement.
"This is great," said Bratina, an unabashed railway fan. "It's a further investment in rail passenger service in Hamilton."
He noted the province recently committed $3 million to build a GO train platform and ticket kiosk near the former CN station on James Street, which is now the LIUNA banquet centre. It will be used by GO and Via trains and might be the jump-start to GO train service to Grimsby, St. Catharines and Niagara Falls on a regular basis.
From the Hamilton GO Centre, there are now three GO trains to Union Station in the morning and four return trains in the evening.
The contract for the overnight storage yard has been awarded to Dagmar Construction Inc. and construction is set to begin next month. GO looked at six locations for the facility, between Kay Drage Park near Highway 403 and Vinemount in Upper Stoney Creek, before sticking, in July, 2006, with its preferred downtown station site.
GO says it took into account residents' concerns about noise and air quality. The trains will be parked parallel and in pairs to minimize impact. They will be parked on the CP Rail line between Catharine Street South and Baillie Street.
Meanwhile, Niagara politicians are expected to put a full-court press on Premier Dalton McGuinty and his cabinet for GO train service next week when they head en masse to Queen's Park. The week of April 21 will be Niagara Week at the legislature and GO train service will be one of the main items Niagara politicians will be lobbying the government for, Welland Regional Councillor Cindy Forster said yesterday.