Wynne announces high-speed rail, trains to reach up to 250km/h

Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne says the province is taking steps toward a high-speed rail corridor between Toronto and Windsor that will reduce travel times between the cities.

Wynne says the goal of Phase 1 is to have high speed service from Toronto to Guelph to Kitchener-Waterloo to London by 2025.

Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca says London to Toronto will be cut down to about 73 minutes.

The government says Ontario is the first province to undertake a "rail transformation" on this scale.

 “We decided that it was time to take a serious look at an idea that has been around for decades,” says Wynne.

Wynne says the high speed link could attract up to 10-million passengers a year.

Last month's provincial budget announced that the government would go ahead with an environmental assessment for the project and today the premier says the province is investing $15 million for that.

Preliminary design work is also starting and the government will establish a new body to oversee the project.

Trains on the planned rail link would travel up to 250 kilometres per hour, which is expected to cut travel times between Toronto and Windsor from four hours to two.

The government released the Special Advisor's Final Report on Friday.

In 2015, the government tapped a special adviser on high-speed rail to assess the possibility of such a project, and David Collenette concluded there is a business case for it as well as opportunities to partner with the private sector for funding.

With files from The Canadian Press.