Editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday June 11, 2015
Pan Am trains headed to new Hamilton GO station – ready or not
The province plans to deliver soccer fans to Hamilton’s new GO Train station for next month’s Pan Am Games whether the building is finished or not.
Construction continues on the station, platform, train tracks and elevators with just a month left before games celebrations kick off in the city July 9.
Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca reiterated Tuesday the $44-million-plus station will be open for business, noting Metrolinx on Monday released a schedule of planned Pan Am service to the city starting July 11.
“I have visited the crews working hard on site daily to deliver this new transit station, and I have been assured by Metrolinx that this new GO Station on James Street North will be operational in time for the Games,” he said in an e-mailed statement.
“Landscaping around the station, including the laying of sod, will continue to take place after the station enters service, but these finishing touches will not impact the operational status of this station.”
That’s good news – if hard to believe, said Mayor Fred Eisenberger.
That’s the official word and I’m prepared to take them at their word,” said the mayor, who noted in a morning speech how much construction remains to be done on the station. “When I drive by, I personally am hard pressed to see how that might happen, but I’m not a construction guy.”
The mayor said he thought it was possible a basic platform could be made safe and opened for GO train visitors, if not the station building itself.
“I’m suspecting it’s just a platform … If they can get a train there, they can let people off, that’s great.”
Eisenberger added he didn’t consider a fully open GO station “integral” to games planning as it might have been with the originally envisioned West Harbour stadium. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)