Ottawa to launch procurement for high-frequency rail between Quebec City, Toronto

A lone person walks at Union Station in Toronto on Monday, March 23, 2020. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

The federal government is set to announce a new high frequency rail corridor to improve the connection between some of Ontario and Quebec's major cities.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra spoke about the upcoming announcement in a video posted to social media Monday, where he joined passengers on a Via Rail train to Quebec City.

Alghabra said the government will be launching the procurement process to build a dedicated line connecting Quebec City to Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.

"It will increase speed up to 200 kilometres an hour and it will increase frequency for passengers like yourselves and transform the connection between these cities," he said in the video.

Alghabra is expected to make a further announcement Tuesday in Trois-Rivieres, Que.

Former transport minister Marc Garneau previously announced a commitment of more than $71 million on the part of the government in 2019 for the new rail.

Via Rail has said the project aims to separate passenger and freight rail operations and create more capacity for people and goods.

The project also proposes new high frequency rail stations along the corridor and plans to reduce trip times by 25 per cent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2021.

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

All aboard! Today, I’m headed from Toronto to Quebec City on @VIA_Rail for a major announcement tomorrow. Join me for this ride and to learn more about Canada’s High Frequency Rail (HFR) project. pic.twitter.com/ASSpDSfmOh

— Omar Alghabra (@OmarAlghabra) July 5, 2021