Comment 119614

By mdrejhon (registered) - website | Posted June 29, 2016 at 19:21:30 in reply to Comment 119612

My suspicion is Steven Del Duca will be setting up a podium at West Harbour GO sometime between now and end of summer. Some kind of announcement would occur, like the opening of the under-deck parking garage (appears to be almost complete, from my last visit). We can have a better idea.

Take a read of Steven Del Duca's piece in a Niagara paper -- some Hamilton related information is also included within.

A great surprise would be the pre-announcement of Lakeshore West all-day 2-way service being extended to Confederation station. The West Harbour could begin accepting this service possibly as early as 2017, although it is probable they need to test-out the infrastructure first with incremental service increases before they make such an announcement. Iron out the bugs with the Rail Junction, Lewis Yard, transit service on old CN tracks (before the new track being constructed by 2019 for Stoney Creek GO). But if they are feeling confident, negotiations with CN is going well, then perhaps they can pre-announce hourly all-day GO service (extending every other Lakeshore West train to West Harbour GO).

It is really truly apparent that West Harbour is the station destined for all-day 2-way GO service, with the huge number of kilometers of track being constructed (West Harbour GO funded budget + Confederation GO funded budget + Niagara extension pledged budget), and zero on the CP side of things.

In fact, I recently discovered that the Hamilton Rail Junction expansion actually slightly hurts Hunter GO -- the new track/switch arrangement heavily favours throughput into West Harbour, while slightly hurting flexibility into Hunter. Very telling... very.

Not to mention, the quote in the July 28 Metrolinx meeting agenda, "and rail corridor expansion projects including bridges, retaining walls, and track and signal improvements required to provide future two-way-all-day service to Hamilton." -- guess what, all of that is only on the CN-side (West Harbour). Everytime I commute to/from West Harbour, I see the brand new West Harbour railyard retaining wall (For the upcoming 3rd track) that's about to be built. Yet another Metrolinx document pointing to all-day going to West Harbour.

All of this will be finished before the 2018 election. So technical capacity of all-day West Harbour is all but assured, all down to a signature, once Metrolinx nicely says "Please" to CN, with a contract. Little tidbits may need optimizing (e.g. track optimizations between West Harbour, Confederation GO, and Lewis Yard) but none of this is unfunded or prone to 2018 cancellation.

Politically, pre-announcing all-day 2-way should be an easy shoo-in to do before the 2018 election to simply activate all-day 2-way GO service by 2018, only 3 years late of the 2015 Ontario promise (but within the term of an elected).

Research-wise, how more confident can I ever be, proclaiming West Harbour GO is actually the upcoming all-day station? It's apparently almost bet-your-mortgage certainty that whatever first all-day Hamilton GO train will hit West Harbour before it hits Hunter...

On the other hand, a form of announcement would be very healthy to strengthen the Hamilton LRT city council vote. The importance of the A-Line LRT just dramatically increased in importance, due to the need for connecting Toronto-Hamilton train service, to serve the Hamilton-Niagara train transfer.

Comment edited by mdrejhon on 2016-06-29 19:56:33

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