Government of Canada to explore opportunities to enhance passenger rail services in Southwestern Ontario

News release

July 21, 2021        London, Ontario         Transport Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to working towards enhancing and modernizing intercity passenger rail services in a way that will best meet the transportation needs of travellers, as outlined in the vision for Transportation 2030.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, the Member of Parliament for London North Centre, Peter Fragiskatos, the Member of Parliament for London West, Kate Young, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Via Rail, Cynthia Garneau and the Mayor of the City of London, Ed Holder, announced that the Government of Canada is exploring opportunities to enhance passenger rail services in Southwestern Ontario.

As the Government of Canada takes first steps in preparing for the procurement process to build new, High-Frequency Rail services in the Toronto to Quebec City Corridor, efforts will also be undertaken to determine how passenger rail services might be improved to better service markets west of Toronto, including London and Windsor.

The Government of Canada will work with key partners including VIA Rail and the Canada Infrastructure Bank through the High Frequency Rail Joint Project Office to ensure that any enhancements to passenger rail services in Southwestern Ontario can be effectively integrated with the core route for High Frequency Rail in the Toronto to Quebec City Corridor.

The Government of Canada will be reaching out to the Province of Ontario to identify areas of collaboration and avoid any duplication with provincial transportation plans, including new services to be offered by GO Transit and Metrolinx, to ensure that enhancements to passenger rail services benefit travellers most. 

Quotes

“There is a strong appetite for enhanced passenger rail services in Southwestern Ontario. Improvements to passenger rail service in this region would provide better options for travellers while also enabling the economic growth of communities along the rail network.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport 

“This is an important day for our city. Londoners have regularly shared with me the need for improved rail service in our community and I’ve been working with colleagues on securing precisely this outcome. Today’s announcement is a key first step in ensuring that the people of this city have another reliable choice of transportation.”

Peter Fragiskatos
Member of Parliament for London North Centre

“High frequency rail has the potential to transform the way we move in our own region and beyond. More Londoners will choose to take the train if we can reduce travel times and increase the frequency of trains in the Windsor to Quebec City corridor.”

Kate Young
Member of Parliament for London West

“Driven by our mission to put our passengers first, VIA Rail has been working for several years on its modernization program which will transform the Canadian journey. The announcement made today represents an opportunity to continue building on this momentum as it will allow to offer an enhanced and truly intermodal experience, while contributing to better serving communities in Southwestern Ontario.”

Cynthia Garneau
VIA Rail Canada President and Chief Executive Officer

“Since the start of my term in office, I have been working with representatives from the federal government, VIA rail, and other stakeholders to ensure Londoners are provided with faster, more reliable, and more frequent rail service to Toronto and beyond. Today’s announcement should be viewed as a clear and welcomed commitment that those concerns have not only been acknowledged, they’re being acted upon.”

Ed Holder
Mayor of the City of London

Associated links

Contacts

Valérie Glazer
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
(613) 290-8656
Valerie.Glazer@tc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055
media@tc.gc.ca

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