It is official- Go Train service is coming to Niagara. The province has announced it will expand Go Train service from Hamilton to Niagara Falls. The expansion will include stops in Grimsby as well as St.Catharines, but riders will have to wait. The project isn’t expected to be completed until 2023 and some people are not happy
This will be the reality for commuters in the Niagara area.
“The Ontario liberal government will be adding weekday rail service between the future Confederation Go Station in Hamilton and the Niagara region starting in 2021.” said Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca.
The project will include a new station in Grimsby, a new train layover facility in Niagara Falls and 30 kilometres of new track.
The 60 kilometre expansion will connect to the future Confederation Go Station in Stoney Creek which is expected to open in 2021.
Trains will be able to travel from Hamilton to Niagara Falls with stops in Grimsby and St.Catharines.
“For workers, for students for tourists. Everybody having access to Niagara now is going to mean a huge difference in where people are going to want to travel and where people want to be.” said Niagara Region Chair Alan Caslin.
Some of the work is expected to start as early as next summer.
“There is a lot of work to be done. A lot of technical work that needs to be done to bring it to fruition.” said St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley.
Including upgrading the current tracks at the existing VIA rail stations in St.Catharines and Niagara Falls.
The rail corridor is owned by CN Rail.
The province did not say how much the project would cost because it is still in negotiations with the CN over the timeline of construction.
The government earlier estimated that new Go Train stations cost an average of $50- $75 million each, not counting operating, maintenance and energy costs.
Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati says the rail service will help the 50 000 people who commute from Niagara to the greater Toronto and Hamilton area for work.
But he is disappointed with the province’s timeline.
“Definitely the part we need to work on is the timing. 2023 is a fair bit out..That is two elections away. That is two municipal elections and two provincial elections away.”
The province says the timelines are not set in stone and that the expansion could be finished earlier.