Skip to main content

VIA Rail High Frequency Rail Plan vs Rail Baltica - Canada's High Speed Rail Embarrassment Part II

VIA Rail High Frequency Rail Plan - (Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal-Quebec City) vs Rail Baltica High Speed Rail Plan (Estonia - Lithuanian - Latvia)

In our first review we compared Canada’s VIA Rail service to  Uzbekistan and to no ones surprise  Uzbekistan had faster passenger trains. Now we will do a quick look at comparing two new projects.

Now maybe it’s not fair to compare a rich country like Canada (Gross Domestic Product ranking 9th in the world  to Estonia, Lithuania -Latvia (GDP 46th,38th and 47th in world respectively) That GDP rating didn’t seem to matter when Canada VIA Rail passenger rail system was compared to Uzbekistan

We will look at what I believe are three important factors. Safety, Speed and the Environment.

Rail Baltica (Estonia-Lithuanian-Latvia):

  • Electrified 
  • Double tracked, no level crossings - grade separated
  • ERTMS- newest generation of European railway traffic management system
  • Maximum design speed of 249 km/h (the maximum operational speed of 234 km/h)
  • Designed for and will be used for intermodality or multimodality 

VIA Rail Canada High Frequency Rail Plan:

  •  Diesel
  •  Level crossings, single track in sections with passing sidings in sections
  •  VIA refuses to release what safety system they are using, currently no Positive Train Control Systems on existing lines
  •  Maximum speeds - 170km/h
  • No intermodality or multimodality

Rail Baltica is more environmentally friendly, safer and faster than VIA Rail's High Frequency Rail Plan. 

We deserve better. Paul Langan


  1. Boy, do we ever deserve better; can it be that a poorer country like Estonia will have HSR before we do?


Post a Comment