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Martin Imbleau CEO of Via HFR is on the Right Track

Munich Station ICE high-speed trains
Martin Imbleau CEO of VIA HFR is on the Right Track 

Martin Imbleau is the CEO of Via HFR Inc., a wholly owned Crown corporation that will report to Parliament through the Minister of Transport. He is giving interviews to the public about the challenges they face implementing faster, modern passenger rail service between Quebec and Ontario.

It is refreshing to hear such straightforward, frank, open discussion on the issues facing the High-Frequency Rail project.

Mr. Imbleau is quick to highlight the biggest challenge, which is, how to enter and exit the big cities quickly. He also has stated on numerous occasions that “It's not about frequency only. It's about being fast. It's about being reliable.”

He even realizes the singular-focused name of the project "High Frequency Rail" needs to be changed.

What a difference in Mr. Imbleau’s approach to that of the former VIA Rail CEO Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, now a Siemens employee. 

During his tenure at VIA, Desjardin-Siciliano would ensure slides on VIA Rail’s website showed the great outcomes that HFR would achieve with no facts to support it. The secretive nature  of his leadership on the issue meant the public had to wait for the latest VIA Rail map to come out to guess what was happening with the plan. Desjardin-Siciliano was clear about one thing, his disdain for true high-speed rail.

High Speed Trains Canada

High-Frequency Rail Project Moving Forward Positively

Fast forward to  today. The Minister of Transport has announced the launch of the Request for Proposals for the High Frequency Rail project. Consulting with the private sector and, aboriginal groups has already begun.  

The City of Toronto and Oshawa have passed motions supporting  high-speed train between major cities.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra has said in an interview that he is open to HFR project proposals for trains that can travel faster than 200 kilometres per hour.

I am hopeful that Mr. Imbleau and the Liberal government continue to move forward on this modernization of our passenger rail system between Ontario and Quebec in open and transparent way.


Paul Langan

Founder High Speed Rail Canada

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