The federal government and private entities have been studying the viability of high speed rail in Canada since 1984. Once again the federal government has sponsored a three million dollar study to decide whether or not a high speed rail project is viable. There is no firm details on what route the government is considering but the routes commonly speculated on include service from as far south as London or Kitchener continuing on Toronto and all the way to Montreal. If any project ever does get approved smaller cities politicians will be falling over themselves to be included on the route.
Jeff Outhit of the Record does not see high speed rail becoming a reality anytime soon. He argues that high speed rail would not take in Canada due to our dominant car culture and current shabby rail system. It’s true that high speed in Canada faces an uphill battle, but with the high airfare costs in the country some long haul city to city routes between Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto could prove to be not only economically viable but one day profitable. However, that day would only come after up to eleven billion dollars has been spent on stations, trains, and new tracks.
High Speed Rail Canada will be hosting a symposium to discuss the benefits of high speed rail and the steps that should be taken to make it a reality. The event will take place from noon to 5pm in the Region of Waterloo Council Chambers at 150 Fredrick St. Kitchener. Admission is free and a few spaces are still available, you can register on the High Speed Rail Canada website.