Transportation

VIA Derailed

By Jason Leach
Published June 10, 2005

As Raise the Hammer first warned several months ago, the suits at VIA Rail have decided that Hamilton should be the only big city in the entire country, and possibly all of North America, not to have inter-regional train service in the downtown core.

Despite the concentration of residents, offices, tourist amenities, hotels, restaurants, arts and culture in our downtown, VIA thinks a spot behind the Centre Mall would be appropriate. For those not familiar with the beautiful stretch of track, head down Ottawa Street and go past Barton Street to the back side of Centre Mall.

Imagine welcoming visitors and convention delegates to our city here. Once again, Hamilton is treated like a second class slum by our upper levels of government who wouldn't dare suggest that Toronto's main VIA Station be located in tent city along the waterfront or out by the Nuclear Reactor in Pickering.

Hamilton's politicians must fight this nonsense and call this episode what it really is ­ a planned tactic by VIA not to have to follow through on their commitment to restore service to Hamilton. Instead of just coming out and saying "We don't want to spend money here restoring service," they've decided to make this announcement knowing nobody in Hamilton would ever allow such an appalling development to take place.

Either that, or the folks at VIA really are that stupid. I find this hard to believe, even for a federal organization.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

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