Leeds and Grenville County Council has endorsed a motion from the Eastern Ontario Warden’s Caucus asking for support for Via Rail’s plan for a dedicated High Speed Rail Route. Part of the plan would see improvements to the two stations in Leeds and Grenville in Brockville and Leeds & Thousand Islands. Via’s website contains high level information about the proposal.
FROM VIA RAIL WEBSITE:
On-time service and congestion in the Québec City – Windsor corridor from sharing tracks with freight trains. This not only impacts our on-time performance, but it means that our train schedules and frequencies are dependent on the access we are granted by the owners of the infrastructure.
A dedicated passenger track
A dedicated passenger rail track within the Québec City – Windsor corridor is an important part of Canada’s transportation system. In 2015 and since the beginning of 2016, we have increased ridership and revenue, demonstrating the relevance of our trains within the corridor.
As the number of freight trains, commuter trains and VIA Rail trains continue to climb, it will become increasingly difficult for our passenger trains to improve their on-time performance. Without the reliability of on-time trains, Canadians will continue to choose their cars for shorter trips within the corridor, which will increase congestion and create unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions.
The proposed dedicated track, using a new, more efficient train car fleet, is expected to:
Relieve congestion, particularly in and out of major urban centres
Boost economic development and benefits along the railway corridor
Deliver a safer rail infrastructure and a more sustainable rail transportation system
Maximize ridership and revenue potential of passenger routes where market demand warrants
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants that contribute to climate change and smog
Create a self-funding project that will significantly reduce government subsidies within the Corridor
The dedicated tracks project would also allow the re-design of the current frequencies operating on the shared environment to better meet regional needs for increased service.