VIA seeks faster service on Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto corridor

July 13, 2015

Ottawa will be a big winner if Via Rail is successful in its bid to raise $3 billion in private funding to improve train service in the Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto corridor, Ottawa Business Journal has learned.

Most of Via’s proposed improvements would be on the line between Ottawa and Toronto, Via president Yves Desjardins-Siciliano said in an exclusive interview recently.

Via’s chief executive appears optimistic the government-owned passenger rail company will raise the money required to improve service between Montreal and Toronto and turn the corridor from a money-loser into a profitable venture.

Under Via’s proposed improvements, travel time between Ottawa and Toronto would be slashed to as little as two hours and 30 minutes, making it competitive with flying and much faster than travelling by car or bus. Currently, the fastest trains between the two cities take almost four hours.

Train service along the Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto corridor is now slow and infrequent. Via says it loses $48 for each passenger it carries on the route – a sum covered by the federal government in its annual subsidy to Via of about $300 million.

Read the full story from reporter Michael Prentiss of the Ottawa Business Journal by clicking here.

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