With the City of Hamilton preparing to host soccer competitions during the upcoming Pan Am Games, effective transit between Hamilton and Toronto is set to improve, bringing a significant new link between the two cities. Hamilton's new West Harbour GO Station will enter into service on July 9th, just in time for sports enthusiasts from around the world to make use of the new train service to Union Station. Following the Games, the new station will help to serve the growing demand for transit between two of Ontario's largest cities.
Like the existing Hamilton GO Centre station, the West Harbour GO Station will, during its initial years of operation, provide rush-hour service for commuters who live in Hamilton and work in Toronto, with two trains departing in the morning, and another two returning from Toronto's Union Station in the afternoon. During the Pan Am Games (July 11-26), however, extra trains will be run in order to accommodate transportation to the events. At the end of July, the train is set to resume its regular schedule, as follows:
- One eastbound trip departing West Harbour at 6:16 AM and arriving at Union at 7:24 AM.
One eastbound trip departing West Harbour at 6:46 AM and arriving at Union at 7:57 AM.
One westbound trip departing Union at 4:47 PM and arriving at West Harbour at 5:59 PM.
One westbound trip departing Union at 5:23 PM and arriving at West Harbour at 6:35 PM.
Following the Pan Am Games, the final stages of construction will continue, with the station's south track, pedestrian bridge, bus loop, and parking lot yet to be fully completed.
Along with the upcoming 'Kiss N' Ride' facilities, and new pedestrian/bicycle pathways, work on these features (as well as some of the station's cosmetic details) is expected to continue until 2016.
Increasing transit options in the Hamilton area has been identified as a long-term goal for Metrolinx and GO Transit, with a number of substantial projects currently in the works, including a new GO station at Centennial Parkway in eastern Hamilton, set to be completed in 2019.
Over the next decade, the GO Regional Express Rail track electrification program will significantly overhaul service between Hamilton and Toronto, with 30-minute peak period service expected between the West Harbour GO Station and Downtown Toronto. During the same period, 15-minute peak service is expected between Hamilton's Central GO Station and Union Station, with additional two-way hourly service planned throughout the day.
In the city itself, the Province of Ontario has also commited $1 billion towards the construction of an LRT line running from Queenston Circle to McMaster University, providing crucial new transit and helping spur development in a city that—through its cultural revitalization—is coming to terms with a new, post-industrial identity.
We will keep you updated while transit in Hamilton continues to expand over the coming years, as new residents and businesses continue to flock to the rapidly developing city. In the meantime, you can get involved in the discussion by checking out the associated Forum thread for the project, or by leaving a comment in the space provided at the bottom of this page.