The Government of Canada is taking the first steps in preparing for the procurement process to build a new train service in the Toronto to Quebec City Corridor. (File Photo Credit – VIA Rail Canada)
The Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra, the President of the Treasury Board, Jean-Yves Duclos, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Joël Lightbound, the Chief Executive Officer of the Canada Infrastructure Bank, Ehren Cory, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Via Rail, Cynthia Garneau and the Mayor of Quebec, Régis Labeaume announced the initial steps earlier today.
According to Transport Canada, the steps will include engagement with Indigenous groups and communities to obtain feedback on the project, engagement with the private sector to determine capacity, and seek perspectives on the best possible delivery model, and accelerating dialogue with partner railways to negotiate dedicated routes in and out of city centres.
The Government of Canada plans to finalize the delivery model and launch the process to select a private partner in the fall, the Transport Canada said in a statement, adding that the request for proposal for the procurement process is expected to launch in fall 2021.
The Transport Canada also added that the High Frequency Rail proposal in the Toronto to Quebec City Corridor involves building dedicated passenger rail tracks which would provide many key benefits to travellers, including shorter travel times and faster trains that would reduce average trip times between Toronto and Ottawa by up to 90 minutes, more reliable on-time arrival performance up to 95 per cent from a current average of 67 per cent, more direct routes with improved connectivity between cities and to other modes of transportation, new services to certain communities, such as Peterborough, Trois-Rivières, and Laval, and new stations in targeted locations including near Jean Lesage Airport, more frequent departures between cities, and a cleaner travel option using electrified technology.