The City's LRT plan has $1 billion in provincial funding. Tell Council to take YES for an answer.

The Case for LRT "Made in Hamilton" - DRAFT

The Case for LRT "Made in Hamilton" - DRAFT

Hamilton's politicians, businesses and unions should be working hard to make sure North America's first LRT manufacturing plant is built right here.

By Nicholas Kevlahan

Note: This document is still in draft form. If you have comments or suggestions, please forward them to Nicholas Kevlahan for consideration.

  1. Dozens of Canadian and US cities are currently installing new LRT systems. This is an enormous market, both for new equipment and maintenance contracts for existing stock.

  2. There is no LRT manufacturer in North America (though a subsidiary of Oregon Iron Works is working on a prototype streetcar that would be used on the Portland Steetcar line). All current LRT systems are manufactured in Europe.

  3. Bombardier is one of the top LRT manufacturers, but its factory is in Germany and is booked solid for the next five years.

  4. To take full advantage of the economic multiplier effect LRT manufacturing and research and development should take place in Ontario.

  5. LRT is a green technology of the future, that will allow Ontario to shift to more sustainable forms of employment.

  6. LRT is recession proof, since its products are bought by government (and big infrastructure projects are often undertaken as stimulus during economic downturns).

  7. Hamilton is extremely well placed to host an LRT manufacturing and research facility for the following reasons:

    1. It is the Canadian city with the strongest record of heavy industry and manufacturing.
    2. It is close to a large pool of highly skilled workers (including some from the auto industry).
    3. It is home to National Steel Car which is North America's largest manufacturer of railway freight cars, and built passenger rail until the 1960s.
    4. Hamilton's LRT system will act as a showcase and test bed for the new LRT systems.
    5. McMaster University has world class expertise in steel manufacturing, and the Canadian Government's Materials Technology Laboratory is moving to McMaster's Innovation Research Park.

Hamilton's politicians, businesses and unions should be working hard to make sure North America's first LRT manufacturing plant is built right here. LRT "made in Hamilton".