New Canadian high speed train 200km/h – Toronto to Quebec City corridor

New Canadian high speed train

The Canadian government is planning to build all-new high speed frequency rail lines connecting Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. These proposed New Canadian high speed train and rail lines will reduce travel times between city hubs and make train service more reliable.

Canadian Transportation minister Omar Alghabra on VIA Rail announces new Canadian high speed train

Canadian Transportation minister Omar Alghabra announced the new project onboard a VIA Rail train travelling from Toronto to Montreal. The proposed train system will run at higher speeds that are available now but will not describe the new train system as a “High-Speed” rail. These trains will not see the speeds like Europe and Asia city trains.

VIA Rail high speed network

The new trains on the Rail system would travel at a speed of 177km/h however the Canadian Transportation minister Omar Alghabra said the trains will reach a speed of 200km/h. Modern high speed rail lines are capable of speeds exceeding 250 km/h.

VIA rail announced that irregular times of trains is due to the congestion of the shared rail lines with freight trains.

More details will be announce as Transportation minister Omar Alghabra has a scheduled news conference for this afternoon in Trois-Rivères.

The official Canadian Government press release said the following:

The Government of Canada is committed to modernizing intercity rail services for travelers to better meet their transportation needs while promoting job creation and economic growth.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honorable Omar Alghabra, the President of the Treasury Board, the Honorable Jean-Yves Duclos, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the Honorable François- Philippe Champagne, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Joël Lightbound, President and CEO, Infrastructure Bank of Canada, Ehren Cory, and the Mayor of Quebec, Régis Labeaume announced that the Government of Canada is in the early stages of preparing the procurement process to create a new rail service in the Toronto-Quebec corridor.

These steps include:

  • consultation with indigenous groups and communities to obtain their views on the project.
  • consultation with private sector stakeholders to determine capacity and to obtain their views on the best service delivery model. The Government of Canada plans to finalize the service delivery model and launch the process to select a private sector partner in the fall.  
  • the acceleration of talks with partner railway companies to negotiate the establishment of exclusive routes allowing access to and out of the heart of cities.

The request for proposals made as part of the procurement process is expected to take place in the fall of 2021.

The high-frequency train proposal in the Toronto-Quebec corridor involves building passenger-only rail lines that will provide many benefits to passengers, including:

  • shorter travel times and faster trains that would reduce the average travel time between Toronto and Ottawa by up to 90 minutes;
  • more reliability for arrival times, up to 95% of arrivals on time compared to a current average of 67%;
  • more direct routes and an improved link with other modes of transport;
  • new services for certain cities, such as Peterborough, Trois-Rivières and Laval, and new stations in specific locations, particularly in the vicinity of Jean-Lesage International Airport;  
  • more frequent departures between cities;
  • a cleaner travel choice thanks to technology using electricity;

The high-frequency train proposal would be the largest transportation infrastructure project Canada has seen in decades. This is why the Government of Canada, in collaboration with VIA Rail, is showing due diligence and adopting a gradual approach in order to put in place the appropriate conditions to guarantee the best success of the project. 

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