Toronto to Quebec High Speed Rail Study
A new study on implementing high-speed rail in Canada was released today by Cambia Consulting. This study adds to the important conversation going on in Canada over the best path to take towards improving the countries passenger rail network. The Canadian Government has favored high frequency rail, recently publishing a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) looking for a private developer to partner with on this project. This new study challenges the wisdom of moving forward with the high-frequency rail option, and instead presents a strong argument for developing high-speed rail along this corridor instead.
The High Speed Rail Alliance agrees with the conclusion of the study:
“Building high-speed rail in Eastern Canada would be the largest and most transformative civil works project of a generation. It will link nearly half of this growing nation’s population together with clean, safe and efficient transportation.
If any conclusion should be taken from this report, it is that high-speed rail is not a pipe dream. It is not some distant fantasy that is decades away. If we design and manage it well, the costs of building it are well within reach.”
Few cities can rival Knoxville’s combination of location, livability, and economic vitality. Eastern Tennessee draws millions of visitors each year—especially to the Great Smoky Mountains, the most visited asset in the entire national park system by a wide margin. It draws more than twice as many visitors each year as the Grand Canyon, the second-most visited park. Dollywood and the popular tourist town Gatlinburg are also nearby, on the outskirts of the Great Smokies. And Knoxville—with a metro area population of about 500,000–is home to the University of Tennessee (UT), which enrolls about 34,000 students.
From Knoxville, it’s about about 200 miles to Atlanta, Charlotte, and Nashville; and it’s a half-day’s drive (or less) to the flagship state universities in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and South Carolina. All told, more than 110 million people live within 500 miles of the city. That’s more than twice the population living within 500 miles of L.A.
Yet, for all that, Knoxville has no passenger-train service, and it was not included in the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Southeast Plan. You can contact your elected officials in Nashville and ask them to submit plans for passenger rail to Knoxville.
What would trains add?
Michigan has made substantial investments in passenger-rail service, for increased operational efficiency and time savings on the five current, round-trip services that Amtrak operates in the state. Continuing to make improvements to these routes remains a priority for Michigan, as well as exploring the potential for increased or expanded service. This includes improvements to rail infrastructure South of Lake, which will allow for better passenger-rail operations and reliability. Michigan plans to continue partnering with other Midwest states and Amtrak to identify projects and improvements that will lead to better passenger-train service.
Speaker: Peter Anastor, Director of the Office of Rail, Michigan Department of Transportation
Come learn about TransitMatters’ advocacy for Regional Rail in Boston. They envision a new business model centered around transforming the region’s commuter rail network into a modern, electric network and fleet of vehicles to bring rapid-transit like frequent and reliable service to the entire Metro Boston region. This would be transformative for the region and their work is a good model for other commuter rail networks looking to make the switch to a Regional Rail system.
Speaker: Jarred Johnson, Executive Director, TransitMatters
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