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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Ontario advances Toronto-Windsor high-speed rail line

The province plans to set up a new governing body to oversee the design and implementation of the proposed system.
Photo – Ontario high-speed rail adviser David Collenette's feasibility report

Ontario is moving forward with preliminary design work for a Toronto-Windsor high-speed rail route, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced late last week.

In fall, Ontario officials are expected to issue a request for bids for the design needed for an environmental assessment. Ontario will invest 15 million Canadian dollars in the assessment, according to a press release issued by Wynne's office.

Ontario officials also will set up a new governing body that will oversee the work required for the design and implementation of a high-speed rail system.

Proposed stops on the line would include Windsor, Chatham, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph and Toronto, with a connection to Pearson International Airport. Trains would travel at speeds up to 158 mph on a combination of existing track and new dedicated corridors.

The line could be completed as soon as 2025, CBC News reported Friday.

High-speed rail would cut travel time between Toronto and Windsor from four hours to about two, according to Wynne's release.

"Building high-speed rail along the Toronto-Windsor corridor isn't just a game changer for southwestern Ontario — it's going to deliver benefits all along the line," said Wynne. "Seven million people live along the Toronto-Windsor transportation corridor. High-speed rail will get them where they need to be faster."

The announcement comes as Ontario releases a new high-speed rail feasibility report by David Collenette, who was appointed in 2015 as a special adviser on high-speed rail.

The report concluded that a business case can be made for high-speed rail along the Toronto-Windsor corridor, as well as opportunities for the private sector to finance and deliver the project.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/22/2017