Study says high-speed train could benefit Canadian economy


A study into the feasibility of a high-speed train link in the Windsor-Quebec City corridor shows the project could benefit the entire Canadian economy.

The report conducted by the EcoTrain consortium — grouping Dessau, MMM Group, KPMG, Wilbur Smith & Associates, and Deutsche Bahn International — was released Monday by High Speed Rail Canada, an advocacy group which promotes the service.

The federal government has yet to release the study publicly.

“The taxpayers have a right to see it. We have posted it on our website. Canada is 30 years behind the rest of the modern world in passenger rail. It is a national embarrassment,” said Paul Langan, president of High Speed Rail Canada.

The fast train would cost between $18.9 and $21.3 billion depending on the chosen technology and yield revenues between $1.21 and $1.48 billion, according to the study financed equally by the federal government and the governments of Quebec and Ontario.

The study points out that the Quebec City-Windsor route would not be financially viable as a whole, but notes that the Montreal-Toronto segment, as well as the Quebec City-Toronto segments would benefit the entire Canadian economy, not just that of Ontario and Quebec.

The $3-million study looked at two high-speed technologies, one diesel train travelling at 200 km/h and a 300km/h electric powered train. Both would be suitable for the corridor, but the study notes the worldwide trend is the faster electric train.

The Quebec City-Windsor corridor would attract more than 10 million passengers in 2031 and serve the cities of Quebec City, Trois-Rivieres, Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto, London and Windsor.