Posts Tagged ‘Canada Infrastructure Bank’

Funding Set for Study of New VIA Rail Corridor

June 29, 2019

The proposed new corridor for VIA Rail Canada service between Toronto and Quebec City.

Funding has fallen into place to conduct a study of the creation of a dedicated rail corridor for VIA Rail Canada trains between Toronto and Quebec City.

C$55 million in funding for the study is being backed by the Canada Infrastructure Bank while another C$16 million will come from Transport Canada.

A joint project team of the bank and VIA will develop a plan to pitch to private-sector investors, notably, the country’s public pension funds.

The cost of a passenger-only corridor have ranged between C$4 billion, for a diesel-powered service to C$6 billion for an electrified line.

The passenger line would also use a patchwork of operational and abandoned rights-of-way.

The route would run from Quebec City to Montreal over former Canadian Pacific tracks now operated by Genesee & Wyoming’s Quebec Gatineau Railway.

From Montreal, the line would run north from Montreal Central Station to Ottawa, perhaps connecting with VIA Rail’s existing line from Coteau-du-Lac to Ottawa. Alternatively, it could simply follow Quebec Gatineau’s existing line all the way to Ottawa.

VIA currently used a Canadian National line between Montreal and Toronto that is shares with CN freight trains.

About 72 percent of VIA’s ridership is in the Quebec City-Toronto corridor in 2018. It accounts for 66 percent of the railroad’s revenue.

The idea of a new passenger route was advanced in 2015 by former VIA President Yves Desjardins-Siciliano.

He said at the time that this would enable VIA to increase frequencies and have better reliability.

The announcement of the funding agreement did not come with a date for when the study will be completed.