Southern Ontario High Speed Rail (HSR) Line Proposal to be Presented

Southern Ontario High Speed Rail (HSR) Line Proposal to be Presented :According to CTV News Toronto a proposal for a new High Speed Rail (HSR) line connecting Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, London and Windsor will be presented in May by Ontario Transport Minister Steven Del Duca.

Ontario high-speed rail line to be tabled at Queen’s Park in May

The project, based on the so-called “Collenette Report”, plans to reduce traffic on the highways. The report is named after former Transport Minister David Collenette, appointed as special advisor in 2015 to study the business case for the HSR line.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne stated: “We have his report and we’re going to be putting it out very soon because he makes a business case for that in a phased way and I am a big proponent of getting that done.”

Steven Del Duca told CTV News Toronto that the line is considered key in developing southern Ontario’s economy. He did however point out that, due to physical restrictions, the report provides specific recommendations regarding train speeds.

A pre-feasibility study prepared by First Class Partnerships (FCP, a UK transportation consulting firm) in 2014 for the Ontario Ministry of Transport had already pointed that:

There are 17 million intercity trips per year in the Toronto – London corridor, with demand constantly growing
Travel is overwhelmingly by car, with bus and rail each carrying only 3% – 5% of passengers

The 2014 study had proposed the use of two trains per hour all day, with a top speed of 320 km/h+, on an electrified line; thus attracting about 6 million passengers per year by 2025.

At the time of the study critics had pointed out that it had been rushed (“completed in about four weeks”) ahead of elections.

Ontario high-speed rail study was rushed ahead of election

It is however undeniably true that Canada remains the sole G8 nation without High Speed Rail, as explained in the Walrus Magazine’s brilliant June 2009 article “Off the Rails, How Canada fell from leader to laggard in high-speed rail, and why that needs to change”.

Writer: John Carlo Ottaviani

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