Niagara is on the GO
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 11:09
Southern Ontario commuters will be pleased to know that a GO rail line could stretch across Niagara in the near future.
Mark Ostler, Media Relations & Issues Specialist with Metrolinx said that they are currently undertaking a design process for the new line extending into Niagara.
“GO Transit is commencing preliminary design work in order to be prepared,” Ostler said adding that GO Transit has completed an Environmental Project Report that assessed the potential expansion of train service to the Niagara Peninsula, including various station locations.
A report was published back in April 2011 by Metrolinx detailing the studies that were done concerning the Niagara rail line.
“A feasibility study was undertaken back in 2009 to evaluate the viability of extending GO train service into the Niagara Region and providing Hamilton with full day service,” it read. “The study concluded that the extension of GO train service to the Niagara Peninsula is technically feasible along the CN corridor.”
In May 2011, GO Transit completed an Environmental Assessment and Preliminary Design Study for the expansion of the GO Train service into the Niagara Peninsula, which was approved by the Minister of the Environment.
The study was publicized in a notice of study completion concerning the Niagara rail service expansion in the Niagara Peninsula.
“An Environmental Assessment (EA) and Preliminary Design Study has been completed in accordance with the GO Transit Class EA process for the expansion of GO Train service to the Niagara Peninsula. The study reviewed potential sites for new stations and train facilities, and also identified potential improvements to the existing rail line within the corridor,” it read.
Although the line checked out, funding has yet to be passed as it is currently uncertain if construction is financially viable.
“Funding for rail extension to the Niagara Region has not been identified at this time,” Ostler said.
A range of proposed GO stations in the Niagara Region and Hamilton area consist of the James Street North GO station and Confederation GO station in Hamilton, the Casablanca Boulevard station in Grimsby, the GO station at the existing VIA station in St. Catharines and a GO station at the existing VIA station in Niagara Falls.
We could see some future GO stations at Fifty Road in Hamilton and Ontario Street in Beamsville. Train layover facilities (which are typically a place to park train vehicles and perform light maintenance and cleaning functions) include the Lewis Road Layover in Hamilton, Glendale Avenue Layover in St. Catharines and the VIA station layover in Niagara Falls.
Mayor of St. Catharines, Brian McMullan, was quoted in the St. Catharines Standard extending his feelings towards the proposed rail line.
McMullan said they would miss a huge opportunity by not extending here in the first phase.
Extending the line to St. Catharines VIA station would cost upwards to $204 million.
Funding for these stations is still in the works as the Environmental Assessment has now wrapped up. Designing the circuit is now in the works.
“At present, we do not have a timeline for this project,” Ostler said.
Visit gotransit.com for further information.