Quebec City–Windsor Corridor (Via Rail)

The Corridor
VIA Rail Belleville 0002.jpg
A Via Rail train approaching Belleville station
Overview
OwnerCanadian National, Canadian Pacific, Metrolinx, Via Rail
LocaleQuebec City–Windsor Corridor
Termini
StationsToronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Kingston, Guelph, Kitchener, London
Websiteviarail.ca/corridor
Service
TypeInter-city rail
SystemVia Rail
Operator(s)Via Rail
Ridership4,782,493 (FY 2019)[1]
History
Opened1856
Technical
Number of tracks2+
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Operating speed160 km/h (100 mph)
Route map
CorridorVia.svg
The Corridor
International
to Chicago (discontinued)
Windsor
359
290
Sarnia
000
000
Chatham
290
268
Wyoming
Glencoe
235
227
Strathroy
216
195
London Kitchener line GO logo.png
000
000
000
000
Ingersoll
185
160
St. Marys Kitchener line GO logo.png
Woodstock
171
143
Stratford Kitchener line GO logo.png
Brantford
128
101
Kitchener Waterloo ION logo.svg Kitchener line GO logo.png
Niagara Falls Lakeshore West logo.png
132
000
Bayview Junction
059
079
Guelph Kitchener line GO logo.png
Grimsby
089
56
Aldershot Lakeshore West logo.png
Lakeshore West logo.png St. Catharines
113
050
Georgetown Kitchener line GO logo.png
Lakeshore West logo.png Niagara Falls
132
34
Brampton Kitchener line GO logo.png
133
34
Oakville Lakeshore West logo.png
Amtrak
Maple Leaf
to New York City
2
Bathurst Street
000
0
Toronto GO Transit logo.svg BSicon SUBWAY.svg UP Express logo.svg
000
000
000
021
Guildwood Lakeshore East line GO logo.png
51
Oshawa Lakeshore East line GO logo.png
101
Port Hope
113
Cobourg
163
Trenton Junction
182
Belleville
217
Napanee
254
Kingston
000
000
000
290
Gananoque
335
Brockville
380
Smiths Falls
430
Fallowfield
Cornwall
428
446
Ottawa O-Train icon.png
000
000
000
493
Casselman
533
Alexandria
475
569
 
Coteau Junction
476
Coteau
Ottawa
River
West Channel
East Channel
520
Dorval Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport AMT Vaudreuil–Hudson icon.png
MontrealLucien-L'Allier
(proposed) Exo.svg
539
Montreal Exo.svg Montreal Metro.svg
000
000
545
Saint-Lambert AMT Mont-Saint-Hilaire icon.png
592
Saint-Hyacinthe
639
Drummondville
785
Charny
790
Sainte-Foy
811
Quebec City
km

The Quebec City–Windsor Corridor (French: Ligne de Québec à Windsor), also known as simply the Corridor, is a Via Rail passenger train service in the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario. The Corridor service area has the heaviest passenger train frequency in Canada and contributes 67% of Via's revenue.

History

Prior to Via's formation in 1978, CN Rail operated its passenger trains, branded Rapido, on the same tracks and CP Rail also offered limited service.

High-speed proposal

During the 1970s and early 1980s, CN and later Via Rail operated the Turbo Train on existing freight rail trackage. This equipment was later replaced by the Bombardier LRC (Light, Rapid, Comfortable) train sets. Beginning in the 1980s and through the 1990s, Via Rail, Bombardier and the provincial and federal governments studied the feasibility of establishing a dedicated high-speed passenger rail network linking Quebec City–Montreal–Ottawa–Toronto–Windsor similar to the French TGV as a means of reducing domestic air and highway travel between these destinations.

After a hiatus of ten years, a feasibility study on launching a high-speed rail service in the Corridor will be updated at the joint cost of the federal government, Ontario and Quebec.[2] On November 14, 2011, the three governments officially released the final report of a high-speed rail study for this corridor.[3]

2009–2010 improvements

In 2009–2010, Via used CA$300 million of government stimulus money to upgrade segments of the Corridor. Notable track improvements were 70 km (43 mi) of additional third main track in four segments, and a short segment of fourth main track, as well as additional yard tracks at three locations. Improvements were made to several stations along the line, with new station buildings constructed at Belleville and Cobourg, and additional platforms for existing stations at Brockville and Oshawa. The improvements were planned to reduce delays along the route and to allow for a reduction in travel time of up to 30 minutes from end to end. They were intended to allow Via to introduce two new round-trip trains from Toronto to both Montreal and Ottawa without requiring the acquisition of new equipment.[4]

Service

Inter-city rail

Inter-city service along the Corridor is provided by several different routes connecting the different cities served by the service. There is no single route that travels the entire length of the Corridor from Windsor to Quebec City. Via runs a mix of local-service and express trains in the Corridor. The Corridor service area has the heaviest passenger train frequency in Canada, with 36 Via trains traversing the route daily.[4] About 67% of Via's revenue comes from Corridor routes.

Via trains that start and end within the geographic region of the Quebec City–Windsor Corridor are branded as a part of the Corridor service. Other inter-city trains from outside the Corridor may have their terminus at stations in the Corridor, such as the Canadian and the Ocean, but are marketed by their respective train names and are not considered to be Corridor services.

The Maple Leaf, a through service from Toronto to New York City, operated jointly with Amtrak, is crewed by Via as trains 97 and 98 on VIA schedules, between Toronto and Niagara Falls, and can be considered part of Corridor services as well. It is the only scheduled rail service from the Corridor line from Burlington to Niagara Falls.

Commuter rail

A GO Transit train on the main line in Toronto's west end

Two commuter rail agencies, GO Transit and Exo, share tracks with Via's Corridor trains. Both agencies are provincially funded and independent of Via.

Trackage

Most of the trackage that Via trains use along the Corridor is owned by the Canadian National Railway. Via owns three former freight lines long the Corridor, one from Smiths Falls to Coteau-du-Lac, Quebec, via Ottawa; one from Smiths Falls to Brockville; and one from Chatham, Ontario, to Windsor, Ontario.[5] Via Corridor trains run on three segments of tracks owned by Metrolinx; one from Burlington, Ontario, to Pickering, Ontario; one from Toronto Union Station to Malton, Mississauga; and one from Georgetown, Ontario, to Kitchener, Ontario.[5] The proposed High Frequency Rail plan calls for adding Corridor services between Toronto and Quebec City that run on newly constructed dedicated tracks.[6]

Future

On July 6, 2021, Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra announced that the federal government would launch the procurement process to build a high-frequency rail corridor between Toronto and Quebec City by 2030.[6] The cost of the project is expected to be between CA$6 billion and CA$12 billion. The plan is to have trains travel up to 200 km/h (125 mph) on a line that would run from Toronto to Quebec City through Peterborough, Ottawa, Montreal, Laval, and Trois-Rivières.[6] As opposed to current operations along the Corridor, the trains would run on dedicated passenger tracks, improving service reliability since the trains would not have to compete with freight trains.[7] Service reliability could increase to 95 percent, up significantly from its current 67 percent.[6] Travel times are projected to decrease by 90 minutes on some routes, such as between Ottawa and Toronto. 90 percent of the route is planned to run on electricity.[7] The timing of the announcement was criticized as political, since there was speculation of a federal election being held later in the year, which was later confirmed on August 15.[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Annual Report 2019" (PDF). viarail.ca. Via Rail Canada. p. 9. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  2. ^ Greenaway, Norma (January 10, 2008). "Ontario-Quebec to study rapid rail link". National Post.[dead link]
  3. ^ "High-Speed Passenger Rail Study Released". Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Warwick, Peter (December 2009). "Via's bold Corridor plan". Trains Magazine. Kalmbach Publishing.
  5. ^ a b "SUMMARY OF THE 2017 – 2021 CORPORATE PLAN AND 2017 OPERATING AND CAPITAL BUDGETS" (PDF). Via Rail. 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ a b c d e Westoll, Nick (July 6, 2021). "Feds set to begin procurement process for Toronto-Quebec City high-frequency rail corridor | Globalnews.ca". Global News. Retrieved 2021-08-16.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ a b Boisvert, Nick (July 5, 2021). "Liberals announce plans for new 'high frequency' rail lines from Toronto to Quebec City". CBC News. Retrieved August 16, 2021.

External links

  • Via Rail temporary train schedule with changes due to Covid 19 (Effective 17 May 2021)
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