Quebec City–Windsor Corridor (Via Rail)

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

The Corridor
VIA Rail Belleville 0002.jpg
A Via Rail train approaching Belleville station
Overview
OwnerCN Railway logo.svg Canadian National
Canadian Pacific Railway logo 2014.svg Canadian Pacific
VIA Rail Canada simplified.svg Via Rail
Metrolinx 2017 logo.svg Metrolinx
LocaleQuebec City–Windsor Corridor
TerminiWindsor, Sarnia, Niagara Falls,
Quebec City
StationsToronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Kingston, Guelph, Kitchener, London
WebsiteVia Rail - Ontario and Québec
Service
TypeInter-city rail
SystemVia Rail
Operator(s)Via Rail
Ridership4,782,493 (FY 2019)[1]
History
Opened1856
Technical
Number of tracks2+
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
ElectrificationNo
Operating speedUp to 100 mph (160 km/h)
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
000
000
000
000
Ingersoll
185
160
St. Marys
Woodstock
171
143
Stratford
Brantford
128
101
Kitchener Waterloo ION logo.svg
Niagara Falls
132
000
Bayview Junction
059
079
Guelph
Grimsby
089
56
Aldershot
St. Catharines
113
050
Georgetown
Niagara Falls
132
34
Brampton
133
34
Oakville
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
51
Oshawa
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

HistoryEdit

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 proposalEdit

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 ImprovementsEdit

In 2009–2010, Via used C$300 million of government stimulus money to upgrade segments of the Corridor. Notable track improvements planned were an additional 70 km (43 mi) of 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 being 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]

High Frequency RailEdit

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.[5] The cost of the project is expected to be between $6 billion and $12 billion. The current plan is to have trains travel up to 200 km/h (120 mph) on a line that would run from Toronto to Quebec City through Peterborough, Ottawa, Montreal, Laval, and Trois-Rivières.[5] As opposed to current operations along the Corridor, the trains would run on dedicated passenger rail tracks, improving service reliability since the trains wouldn't have to compete with freight rail trains.[6] Service reliability could increase to 95 percent, up significantly from its current 67 percent.[5] Travel times are projected to be decreased by 90 minutes on some routes, such as between Ottawa and Toronto. 90 percent of the route is planned to run on electricity.[6] The announcement was criticized as a political move since there was speculation of a federal election being held later in the year, which was later confirmed on August 15.[5]

ServiceEdit

Inter-city railEdit

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 the 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 railEdit

 
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.

TrackageEdit

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.[7] 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.[7] The proposed High Frequency Rail plan calls for adding Corridor services between Toronto and Quebec City that run on newly constructed dedicated tracks.[5]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ a b "SUMMARY OF THE 2017 – 2021 CORPORATE PLAN AND 2017 OPERATING AND CAPITAL BUDGETS" (PDF). Via Rail. 2017.

External linksEdit