In what seems to break the silence in updates regarding GO service to Grimsby and the Niagara Region, Metrolinx released a media advisory curiously titled “Metrolinx and Niagara Region continue to work together to bring regular GO train service to the region”.
You can read the Metrolinx media advisory here: August 16, 2018 Update
While the casual glance of the release would indicate that it’s “full steam ahead” for the proposed GO expansion, a careful reading of the verbiage reveals that there is a potential devil in the details. If you are looking forward to one train in the morning and one in the evening, you might be thrilled at their their use of the term “daily GO Trains” and not “all-day GO Trains”. You can read more about the reluctance of Metrolinx to commit to all-day trains by reading our GO Open House notes here.
Also of interest is the comment “currently regular GO train service is scheduled to be expanded to Grimsby by 2021” with “currently” being a very operative word. Why would they say “currently” unless there is some doubt involved. This is backtracking (pardon the pun) on the Metrolinx e-mail list update in December 2017 that struck a definitive tone in that they would “deliver expanded GO train service to Niagara Region beginning in 2021”. You can read that e-mail update here.
Even though they are pushing ahead with station plans, that does not mean that GO train service is on-track for 2021. These design tenders may have been awarded some time ago, with their final blueprints easily shelved and dusted off later with minor touch-ups, if and when things finally move ahead.
On a similar note we noticed in the Council agenda for Wednesday’s meeting (August 22 @ 6:30 PM) the following closed session:
9. Closed Session
a) Closed Session under Section 239 (2)(h) of the Municipal Act, 2001, information explicitly supplied in confidence to the municipality or local board by Canada, a province or territory or a Crown agency of any of them
– GO Transit update
In the beginning of election season, it is interesting that Council would go into a closed session on the topic of GO Transit. Normally anything “GO Transit” is publicly flaunted by Council and the Town as a “good news story” and by developers as a thin veneer to push their projects through.
With the Metrolinx CEO suddenly resigning in July and a new Premier at Queen’s Park touting fiscal restraint and undoing just about every plan of the previous Provincial government, one can reasonably surmise that the lights of the GO Train might be a lot farther down the tracks than we thought.
EDIT (Sat Aug 18 1:40 PM EDT): The Town posted the media advisory to their FB page about two hours ago… we wonder where they got that idea?