Government of Canada to study improved rail service in southwestern Ontario

July 22, 2021
Any enhancements to rail service south and west of Toronto would complement the proposed High Frequency Service east to Quebec City and not duplicate planned provincial rail enhancements.

The government of Canada will explore ways to enhance passenger rail services in Southwestern Ontario, including municipalities west of Toronto, such as Windsor and London.

"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 travelers while also enabling the economic growth of communities along the rail network,” said Canada’s Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra.

In early July, the federal government reiterated its commitment to exploring High-Frequency Rail services in the Toronto to Quebec City corridor with the procurement process expected to begin in the fall. The government of Canada says it will work with VIA Rail and the Canada Infrastructure Bank through the High Frequency Rail Joint project office to ensure any enhancements to passenger rail services west of Toronto can be integrated with the eastern High Frequency Rail service.

"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," said VIA Rail Canada President and CEO Cynthia Garneau.

London Mayor Ed Holder added, “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."

The federal government says it will also collaborate with the government of Ontario to identify potential duplicative transportation plans, including new services to be offered by GO Transit and Metrolinx, to ensure that enhancements to passenger rail services benefit travelers most.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.