Construction is set to begin this spring on Hamilton’s new GO station on James St N – but it could still be years before the city sees all-day GO service.
Transportation minister Glen Murray announced today a Mississauga-based company, Kenaidan contracting limited, has been awarded the $44 million dollar contract. The plan is to have the new station up and running in time for the 2015 Pan Am games.
“We’ve cleared all the trees; we’re setting up the equipment right now to start the shoring.”
Kenaidan contracting has already begun to level the future location of the new station.
The project will mean two more train trips in and out of the city in the morning and afternoon by the time the station is completed for Pan Am soccer at Tim Hortons Field in 2015.
Murray says the province is trying to purchase the track connecting Aldershot and the new station. “The biggest thing holding back train service and getting the same service that other people on the Lakeshore line have is the condition of that track.”
Right now on a weekday there are four trains leaving Hamilton for Toronto in the morning, and four arriving at night.
Murray says full-day GO will have to wait until the stretch of track between Hamilton and Aldershot is ready, and that could be another couple of years after the Pan Am games.
“That’s expensive. We’re talking $2 billion of investment to buy the track, upgrade the track and to get the equipment.”
Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina who has long fought for all-day GO says he’s not disappointed with the timeline.
“I know there will be all day GO service and service will be extended to Stoney Creek and on into the peninsula. There’s no question about that. It’s in the long term plans of GO.”
The James north station will be connected to a nearby plaza and will include new bus bays, pedestrian walkways and parking for about 300 vehicles.
Murray says he wants it to be beautiful — a 21st century Liuna Station.
He also spoke about local transportation today during a Hamilton Chamber of commerce meeting. Murray shied away from endorsing light rail transit, saying that has to be a local decision. But he did say it was one of the most effective options.