Feds to begin talks on high frequency rail with Indigenous groups, private sector

QUEBEC — The federal government says it’s taking the first steps in building a long-awaited high frequency rail line along the Toronto to Quebec City corridor.

Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra says the government is now looking to engage with Indigenous groups and the private sector for feedback about the projected line that would connect Quebec City to Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.

Officials are also set to begin dialogue with partner railways to negotiate dedicated routes in and out of the major cities.

Alghabra says the new line will provide more reliable service, aiming to bring Via Rail’s on-time arrival performance to 95 per cent from the current average of 67 per cent.

He says the improvements will also allow the number of daily departures to triple and called the upcoming train line one of the largest infrastructure projects in Canada in decades.

The request for proposals for the procurement process is expected to launch this fall.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 6, 2021.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press

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