‘Temporary change’: Hamilton GO station to have reduced evening train service


Published August 30, 2022 at 4:07 pm

GO buses will be replacing train service between Oakville and West Harbour GO stations from July 7-9. This temporary change is to accommodate infrastructure work on the Lakeshore West corridor. METROLINX IMAGES

It will be back on the bus for many GO Transit riders departing or heading to Hamilton on weeknights.

There will also be fewer trains running on the Lakeshore West line after the afternoon/early evening rush hour, according to the schedule update that GO Transit posted this week. Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency, recently announced said there is expanded track capacity that will enable more Lakeshore West trains to go to and from the Harbour West GO station in Hamilton, as well as the future Confederation GO Station. However, as of Sept. 6, “temporary changes” will mean less service in the evening.

Metrolinx said in response to a media question (from Joey Coleman of The Public Record) that the changes are required because an underpass is being built under the Lakeshore West line. The underpass is part of the construction of the Hurontario light-rail transit line between Toronto and Mississauga.

Here is what is changing, starting a week from today (Aug. 30):

  • Westbound weekday evening service will now drop down to hourly, starting with the 7:45 p.m. train out of Union Station in downtown Toronto. The 7:45, 8:45, and 9:45 westbounds will also end at Aldershot GO, with bus connections available to Hamilton, Brantford and Burlington.
  • Trains leaving Union at quarter-past (from 9:15 till 11:15) will only go as far as Exhibition GO.
  • Three trains that normally leave from West Harbour will instead leave from Aldershot GO, and leave earlier. The 9:13 / 10:13 / 11:13 eastbounds will instead leave at 10 minutes after the hour, from Aldershot (so, 9:10, 10:10, 11:10 p.m.).
  • Riders in Hamilton can connect by catching the No. 18 GO Bus from Hamilton GO Centre on Hunter St. E., along King St. W. before it turns on to Hwy. 403.
  • Some trips on GO Bus Route 12, 15 and 18 will depart up to 15 minutes earlier to align with adjusted train trips.

All-day service between West Harbour and Union Station came online 13 months ago. That was just over six years after the station opened.

One reason for the lag was that the tracks between Aldershot and West Harbour curl around Burlington Bay, into a major loading area for freight carriers. As Metrolinx put it in 2019, that spot is “a key east-west freight movement artery between Toronto and Chicago, Buffalo and the northeast (United States). It is a pinch-point where numerous corridors owned by two different freight carriers converge.”

The workaround has involved building a 200-metre “pocket track” at Aldershot, which was declared ready in late June. It will, when that day comes, faciliate more trains going to West Harbour and the future Confederation GO, while also shortening trip times to/from Niagara Region.

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