External advisor to explore options to improve rail service to Windsor

The federal government is taking steps to explore options to improve rail service to Windsor.

Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport, was in Windsor on Tuesday to announce that the government is hiring an outside adviser to analyze passenger demand and route options to deliver the rail service that best meets the needs of southeastern communities. western Ontario, including Windsor.

The external consultant will also analyze concrete options to improve service in southwestern Ontario for possible future integration into the high-frequency rail project, submitting a final report to the federal government by end of 2023.

Alghabra says those options could include things like more frequent round trips, shorter travel times and better punctuality.

The federal government has already committed to developing a high-frequency train project between Toronto and Quebec.

Alghabra says these are the same steps they took when they launched the study for the high-frequency train project between Quebec and Toronto.

“The study does several things, it does a business model and it does an initial assessment of where the runway might be, because remember we are looking at building a dedicated runway,” he adds.

In early 2023, the Minister will host a stakeholder roundtable on passenger rail service in southwestern Ontario.

In the 2022 budget announced in April, the government committed to providing more than $396 million over two years to Transport Canada and Infrastructure Canada for the high-frequency rail project between Toronto and Quebec.

The line is expected to open in the early 2030s.

Shirlene J. Manley