Heads up, Canada. Looks like a new train is on its way to the eastern provinces which will make going back and forth between Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City a whole lot quicker.
According to Omar Alghabra, Canada’s Minister of Transport, trips between those four cities mentioned above are among the most frequent in Canada, and nearly all of this travel is currently done by car. With this new high-frequency train, Canada’s government is hoping to move the a large sum of that group onto the train system.
Special announcement onboard @Via_Rail train #64, with destination to Montreal:
— Omar Alghabra (@OmarAlghabra) July 5, 2021
Now, according to Alghabra in the above video, the trains could reach speeds of 200 km/h. But, according to the VIA Rail project page, these trains will only go 177 km/h.
Since neither of these speeds are nearly high enough to be considered ‘high speed’ train systems like the ones that have become increasingly vital in Europe and Asia, ‘high frequency’ is a nice trade-off.
The biggest improvement that the project suggests comes in the improvement of on-time performance and the decrease of travel time between major cities. According to VIA Rail, the on-time performance of this train route would increase by over 95%, while the route itself would cut travel times by 25%. Alright, now we’re intrigued.
As for a timeline, well, that is unclear. For cost, an exact price tag is still up in the air, but CBC has pointed out that the federal budget has allotted $491.2 million over six years to VIA Rail Canada for infrastructure investments.
In the meantime, we’ll keep you updated as information comes in.