Ontario to spend millions on high-speed rail line between Toronto and Windsor
Paul Bliss, CTV News Toronto
Published Thursday, May 18, 2017 6:23PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 18, 2017 7:56PM EDT
Ontario is going to spend millions to begin the process of building a high speed rail corridor between Toronto and Windsor that would cut travel times in half for passengers, CTV News Toronto has learned.
Premier Kathleen Wynne is expected to make the announcement Friday.
Sources say $15 million will be spent on an environmental assessment. During this assessment the first phase will examine design and specifications of the line that will connect Toronto to Guelph, Kitchener/Waterloo, London and eventually Chatham and Windsor.
The initial phase would see the trains go to London. It is hoped that the high-speed rail would open up vast areas of affordable homes to people who want to work in Toronto but live outside of the city.
A report commissioned by the Ontario government and carried out by former federal transport minister David Collenette examining the feasibility of the line will be released on Friday.
The report estimates there would be 10 million annual riders by the year 2041. Two scenarios are being proposed. The first scenario would see trains travel at a top speed of 300 km/h at a cost of $149 million per kilometre. The other scenario would see trains that travel at a top speed of 250 km/h at a cost of $55 million per kilometre.
Those prices per kilometres are in line with prices of high speed rail lines in Europe.
In this plan, the Ontario government would seek out private financing and private partners while working with VIA Rail and Metrolinx. As well, a new government body is planned to oversee design and implementation of high speed rail line between Toronto and Windsor.