Huge High Speed Rail Project for Ontario Moves Forward

Published February 16, 2018 at 4:10 am

Anthony Urciuoli/ photo

Southwestern Ontario is about to get a massive new transit development.

Most Mississauga residents are aware of the province’s plans to build light-rail transit (LRT) systems in Peel and surrounding cities and to introduce all-day, two-way regional express rail (RER) to GO transit lines (effectively creating “surface subways”) in Ontario.

Now, a Chair has officially been appointed to drive a high speed rail project forward in the Toronto-Windsor corridor—a move that the province says will cut people’s travel times and “create new opportunities for workers, businesses and families.” 

Ontario’s Special Advisor for High Speed Rail, the Honourable David Collenette, is set to lead Ontario’s High Speed Rail (HSR) Planning Advisory Board moving forward in the project.

This will be Canada’s first ever high speed rail line, so it’s a pretty big step.

The high speed rail line will serve more than seven million people, with proposed stops in Windsor, Chatham, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph and Union Station in Toronto. As for where Mississauga comes in, the province says there will be a connection to Pearson International Airport.

As the province’s Innovation SuperCorridor that connects all of those communities, Toronto-Windsor is considered a prime spot for the new line.

The trains themselves will travel at up to 250 kilometres per hour on both existing track and new dedicated rail corridors, says the province. 

“This would cut travel times between these major centres from over four hours to just over two. [High speed rail] will help businesses attract the best talent and boost their productivity, and help Ontario make the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

So what happens next?

Now that a Chair has been appointed, the province is going to continue to appoint people to contribute to the advisory board for the project from relevant fields like high tech, engineering, environmental sciences, transportation planning, and financing and delivery of infrastructure projects. Agricultural, business, Indigenous, and other communities will also be considered for board positions as stakeholders, providing strategic advice.

“Ontario will continue to engage with Indigenous communities and municipalities while the environmental assessment, design work and ridership forecasting are completed.”

This project has been in the works for some time now, and a final report was submitted in December 2016. You can find the report here.

What do you think of the new high speed rail line coming to Ontario?

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