Grimsby GO station still a go, but timeline remains unclear

·2 min read

The long-awaited GO service in Grimsby is still on track, but when that train will pull into the station remains to be seen.

While the process is ongoing, the most likely time frame for arrival is somewhere in 2022 or beyond.

Matt Robinson, director of Niagara Region’s GO Implementation Office, said the region and Metrolinx continue to seek the third-party agreement required for construction on a station in Grimsby, a search that has been ongoing since 2018.

“Given the realities of being able to lock down a partner, and then design and construction ... even if we were able to secure that opportunity now, the original timeline of 2021 would be ambitious, to say the least.”

In 2018, a change in the delivery process was announced that would see Metrolinx still provide rail service, but would require a third-party agreement for the design and construction of the station, rather than Metrolinx as originally planned.

That change in the delivery process altered the original time frame from December 2021 to ASAP – as soon as a third party is secured.

But Robinson said that partner has yet to be secured, and as of November 2020, it may not be until at least 2022 that a GO station is up and running in Grimsby.

“The realistic scenario is that we will probably push past December 2021, just given the fact that at (the) present time, the government has not made any announcement that a third party has been secured.”

That could change, of course, as the situation develops. According to Robinson, a more concrete time frame should emerge once a partner is secured for the project, but that timeline could vary based on a number of factors and the parameters of the third-party agreement.

“It is not only when we secure a third party, it is also what are the other issues that might occur. Depending on what the third-party partnership looks like, it is going to be difficult for us to lay out a timeline.”

A future station in Lincoln is also still in the works, however, though not as far along as the Grimsby site. Robinson said a business plan still needs to be completed by the town to move the proposal into active status within Metrolinx, where the third-party search can then begin.

Despite the ongoing pandemic and the challenges of securing a third-party agreement, Robinson said the region remains committed in its support to bring a GO station to West Niagara – whenever that may be.

Bryan Levesque, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News