Map of the proposed Toronto – Windsor high speed line.

CANADA: Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation has issued a request for bids for a contract to develop terms of reference for the environmental assessment process for the Kitchener-Waterloo – London section of the proposed Toronto – Windsor high speed line.

The terms of reference would provide a framework for the planning and environmental assessment process, which is expected to get underway next year. This would look at factors including the alignment, how stations are built, energy requirements, expected ridership and parking needs.

As this would be Canada’s first high speed line, new rolling stock and safety standards would be developed with Transport Canada to inform the environmental assessment process.

‘This historic project is the first of its kind in Canada, and will be one of the largest planning and environmental assessments our province has ever completed’, said Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca on December 15.

The proposed route serving a region with more than seven million people would comprise a mix of new and upgraded lines suitable for 250 km/h running. There would be stations in Windsor, Chatham, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph and Toronto, and a connection to Toronto Pearson International Airport.

The first phase from Toronto to London is envisaged for completion by 2025 at the earliest, with the route then extended to Windsor in 2031.