Comment 119371

By mdrejhon (registered) - website | Posted June 16, 2016 at 00:33:52 in reply to Comment 119318

While Bob Bratina (and others) have enthusiacally supported GO trains, we need to realize how important the Hamilton LRT actually unexpectedly is to West Harbour GO viability:


I have done hundreds of hours of research on Hamilton GO service, and visited/photographed ALL of these construction sites. I have huge articles written, Part #1 and Part #2. (Part #3 is coming soon).

Beginning late 2016 or early 2017, all the technical pre-requisites required for all-day 2-way Hamilton GO train service are complete -- found in the 2011 Niagara Expansion ESR Appendix E -- are completed for the CN subdivision -- the West Harbour GO station!

The 2011 Niagara ESR analyzed what construction is needed to permit hourly all-day service. And the image above is all the checkboxes already successfully being 100% funded and 100% under construction -- with an unexpected above-and-beyond element: The Hamilton Rail Junction Expansion under construction! But none of the checkbox items for the CP side (Hunter GO) is being done at all at this moment. Telling, telling.

From the money trail, it seems quite apparent that negotiations have gone much more smoothly on the CN side of things than the CP side. Although the official Ontario word is the downtown station actually gets all-day service. But reading between the lines and following the money trail: Only West Harbour is technically able to receive reliable all-day 2-way GO train service.

Even the question of which station gets all-day service, is actually an open question as late as in 2016 Metrolinx documents:

  • "...Additional work needed to determine the roles of the Hamilton GO Centre and the new James North station" (p.14, Sept 2014 RER Update)
  • "...All-day two trains per hour EMUBL4/EMUBL8 or E1BL8 to Hamilton West Harbour, or Hamilton Hunter with express Burlington-Union requires electrification of Aldershot to Hamilton..." (p.12, Appendix A, March 2016 RER Business Case)

There are only two freight trains a day on the Grimsby subdivision heading to Niagara, and the Hamilton Rail Junction Expansion (which is above-and-beyond the Niagara ESR Appendix E) eliminates the majority of the GO-vs-freight conflict. There are WAY more freight trains conflicting with Hunter, and the single-track tunnel is an expensive problem. All indications point to more success in negotiating with CN. (Especially with recent CN's friendly co-prescence at the earlier Kitchener GO expansion announcement -- very, very, telling).

Beginning 2017, nothing technically stops Metrolinx from introducing all-day 2-way GO service on the West Harbour side.

Here are the construction completion dates:

  • Hamilton Rail Junction Expansion (3rd track, towards West Harbour), November 2016
  • West Harbour GO (full completion, including underground parking garage), Early 2017
  • Centennial Parkway Bridge Expansion (prep for Stoney Creek GO), completes soon
  • Lewis Layover Yard (GO train parking), 2nd half 2016

Since West Harbour is so far way from 403, West Harbour GO needs to depend more on high-order transit. Unfortunately, Metrolinx is not likely to introduce full hourly (or better) all-day commuter GO service until West Harbour GO station has better transit connections: the Hamilton LRT

Want more GO? Want electric GO too? Leave Hamilton LRT alone.

There you go.

Comment edited by mdrejhon on 2016-06-16 00:59:32

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