Canada issues Request for Expressions of Interest for Quebec City to Toronto High Frequency Service

March 14, 2022
The government of Canada says the move marks a step in the procurement process for a project that could be operational in the early 2030s.

The government of Canada has opened the Request for Expressions of Interest, which seeks advice and industry views concerning its planned High Frequency Rail project for service between Toronto, Ontario, to Quebec City, Quebec.

Canada says the Toronto-Quebec City corridor is the busiest travel corridor and the High Frequency Rail Project would be the largest transportation infrastructure project the country has seen in decades. The project aims to provide improved and more accessible rail service, as well as support long-term regional and economic growth.

“High Frequency Rail is a transformational project that promises to fundamentally change the way Canadians travel in southern Ontario and Quebec, improving accessibility and providing more travel flexibility. The Request for Expressions of Interest marks the first major step in the development and advancement of this project,” said Canada Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra.

In July 2021, Minister Alghabra announced the government’s plans to pursue high-frequency rail service and highlighted the need for improved service on the corridor after taking what was an 11.5-hour trip on VIA Rail Canada between Toronto and Quebec City. The proposal of more frequency rail service was first introduced by VIA Rail Canada in 2016.

The Request for Expressions of Interest is due in May 2022 and the government of Canada plans to have a virtual information session on the request in April 2022. From the Request for Expressions of Interest, the government will issue a Request for Qualifications in the fall of 2022, which will be followed by a Request for Proposals in the spring of 2023. The government says High Frequency Rail service could be fully operational in the early 2030s.

The government of Canada says the participation of Indigenous Peoples is essential to the success of High Frequency Rail and encourages Indigenous Peoples to submit their views and questions on the project. Additionally, the government is committed to finding a private sector partner that prioritizes meaningful relationships with Indigenous Peoples and will evaluate the Indigenous participation plans of proponents to encourage collaboration opportunities with Indigenous Peoples, businesses, communities and organizations.

The Request for Expressions of Interest seeking the advice and views from industry on the High Frequency Rail project through

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