Montreal recommends a high-speed train to connect Quebec to Toronto
The Government of Canada is preparing the construction of a 1000 kilometer railway line to connect the city centers of Quebec, Trois-Rivières, Montreal, Peterborough and Toronto by the early 2030s. (File Photo)
The Montreal City Council unanimously adopted a motion on Monday evening calling for a high-speed train (TGV) in the Quebec City-Toronto corridor. The metropolis is thus placed alongside Quebec and Laval, which have already positioned themselves in favor of such a project.
Let's give ourselves a fast, civilized train so that we can unite families, friends, do economic and cultural development and save the planet, argued Independent Councilor Craig Sauvé, author of the motion.
The federal government is currently working on a high frequency train project (TGF), traveling at 200 km/h to connect Toronto to Quebec, passing in particular by Ottawa, Montreal and Trois-Rivières. It would be slower, but also cheaper than the TGV recommended by Quebec cities, which would reach 300 km/h.
Quality things cost money, it's true, notes Mr. Sauvé, who believes that Ottawa has the funds necessary to develop an ambitious rail transport offer in Canada's most populous axis.
“In a context where […] we must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, we must that the alternatives we propose be competitive, be interesting, and even be a gain for citizens compared to what already exists. »
— Sophie Mauzerolle, responsible for transport and mobility, executive committee of the City of Montreal
The Minister of Transport of Quebec, Geneviève Guilbault, wants a TGV, too. What is a TGV? It's over 300 km/h. In France, in Japan: trains reach 600 km/h! There are none in North America and California is in the process of building one. Ottawa offers a much cheaper train, a TGF, which can go up to around 200 km/h. What should we build? TGV or TGF? A report by Olivier Bachand.
Montreal believes that a TGF will not significantly reduce the journey between the major cities located in the corridor. The TGV, in the eyes of the metropolis, is the only real option to convince citizens to take the train rather than the car or the plane.
For example, with VIA Rail's current service, a trip between Montreal and Quebec takes an average of 3:24 hours. Users could save about 35 minutes on their travel time with a TGF. With the option of a TGV, they could arrive almost 2 hours earlier at their destination, in less than an hour and a half.
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In the TGF option chosen by Ottawa, trains could nevertheless run at speeds greater than 200 km/h in certain sections. The performance of the network will also be improved thanks to rail tracks reserved for passengers. Currently, VIA Rail shares tracks with freight trains.
The cost of the project is the sinews of war. It would cost around $15 billion for a TGF, while the bill would be around $25 billion for the TGV, estimates Pierre Barrieau, lecturer in transport planning at UQAM and l' ;University of Montreal.
To go from a TGF to a TGV, the rolling stock still costs more. […] The railway must be of better quality, we must remove all the level crossings.
In addition, the envelope could reach nearly 60 billion dollars for the construction of tunnels allowing stops in downtown Montreal and Toronto. However, this option is not considered in the TGF project.
In the motion adopted Monday, the Montreal City Council nevertheless considers that a TGV in the city center would stimulate traffic in downtown.
“[This infrastructure] would greatly contribute to the revival of downtown Montreal, its influence as well as #x27;to its long-term resilience. »
— Excerpt from the motion for a TGV in the Quebec-Toronto Corridor
The new rail network, whatever its form, should be inaugurated in about ten x27;years.
With information from Olivier Bachand and Benoît Chapdelaine.