Friday, May 19, 2017

Ontario High Speed Rail Study and Press Conference: Moving Forward or Stuck in Neutral

It is hard not to by cynical when the Ontario provincial government announces there we be yet another study on high speed rail in Ontario. This one costs $15 million. The David Collenette HSR study is the 22nd  study that has not produced any results so are things any different this time around.

The Wynne government has announced the study today on the Friday of a long weekend. This is definitely not a preferred time to have a press conference. Governments usually reserve this time for bad news or news or when they cannot get any high profile media.


Here is the press conference with Premier Kathleen Wynne and Steve Del Duca in London Ontario today. https://archive.org/details/May19HighSpeedRailPressConference


The David Collenette study recommends that a full environmental assessment be done and suggests two different cost scenarios depending on speeds. 300 km/h at a cost of $149 million/km  250 km/h at a cost of $55 million/km.

As a cost comparison the 1995 Ontario-Quebec High Speed Rail Study at the 200/250 km/h speed the total cost of the Windsor-Quebec line was $16 billion. Today to do the same speed just the London-Toronto would cost $11 billion.

London to Toronto would be complete by 2025 and expanded to Windsor by 2031.


Collenette understands that for this high speed rail project to happen it must be a 3P, public-private partnership. High Speed Rail Canada strongly recommends that this 3P move beyond the narrow focus of Bombardier and VIA Rail to  companies/countries that have over a half a century of experience in building and operating  high speed rail.


There is also a recommendation  that a new government body would be organized to oversee design and implementation of high speed rail line between Toronto and Windsor within the Ministry of Transportation.

Could high speed rail finally happen in Ontario? We do believe that with the proposed new Federal Government Infrastructure Bank and the Federal Liberals seemingly interested in larger infrastructure projects that maybe the time is right. However at the Kitchener press conference, the Premier stated they had not had any discussions on this subject matter with the federal government. Time will tell if HSR finally comes to Ontario.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Canada Infrastructure Bank could fund high-speed rail in Alberta, Ontario

GLOBE & MAIL- Bill Curry - High-speed rail lines in Alberta and Southern Ontario are the types of projects that could be funded through the Canada Infrastructure Bank, the federal Infrastructure Minister said during a day-long debate over the government’s $35-billion plan.

Amarjeet Sohi defended Ottawa’s approach on Thursday during a debate on the proposed bank triggered by an NDP motion that called for legislation creating the bank to be removed from the Liberals’ omnibus budget bill. The government said it will oppose the NDP motion when it comes to a vote on Tuesday. Read the whole article here. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Jason Shron: Via Rail's fleet is obsolete. Can't we do better

Ottawa Citizen - Riding the train in Canada is like stepping into a time warp. Via Rail Canada’s passenger car fleet is a hodge-podge of mismatched equipment built as long ago as 1947, and it is a national embarrassment. Read the rest of the article.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


Lorne Perry Collection - Turbo Train

You have waited long enough! Visit our Turbo Train page and click on the Lorne Perry Collection to see these rare professionally shot photos. While you are on the page check out the world's largest collection of video and audio of the Turbo Train.

For people wanting to bring back the Turbo Train, no problem, the original Equipment Diagrams are included on the Turbo Page also.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Green Party of Canada and Ontario Want Action on High Speed Rail

(OTTAWA) May 1, 2017 – Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands), and Mike Schreiner, Leader of the Green Party of Ontario, are calling for joint federal-provincial funding for high speed rail linking Windsor to Montreal.

“We must invest in our rail service, both passenger and freight,” Ms. May said. “Study after study shows that high speed rail service on the Windsor-Quebec City corridor is good for our economy and environment. This investment should be part of a national transportation strategy.”

Here is the link to the full press release.

The Green Party has also set up a page where you can an e-letter to Send a letter to the Ontario Minister of Transportation Steve Del Duca.

We appreciate if all HSRC supporters would complete the above e-letter.

Here is a link to the full press conference by Elizabeth and Mike.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Rare CN Turbo High Speed Train Photos to be Released May 3rd, 2017

Adding the new paint scheme to the Turbo Train!

We are excited to announce that we have found 28 professionally taken slides of the CN/VIA Turbo Train. That was Canada's only high speed train that ran from 1968-1982. These slides are from the Lorne Perry collection and feature photos from different periods of the Turbo. There are also some rare photos taken inside the train. Check back on our website on May 3rd and you will have access to view them all.

Friday, April 28, 2017

What the Ontario Budget States About High Speed Rail

High-Speed Rail - Ontario Budget Chapter 4 Section C 

In 2015, the government appointed the Honourable David Collenette as a Special Advisor to assist in bringing high-speed rail to the Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, London and Windsor corridor.

The Province will now advance the comprehensive environmental assessment and support additional design and planning work for the corridor. Ontario is also considering the development of a governing body that would provide oversight for the ambitious work required to design and implement high-speed rail.

High-speed rail could cut travel times between Toronto and Windsor from four hours to just over two, and would make Ontario the first province to transform its rail network through high‑speed rail.