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Collenette appointed new HSR advisory board chair

DCN News Services
Collenette appointed new HSR advisory board chair

TORONTO — Ontario has appointed former federal transport minister David Collenette to chair Ontario’s High Speed Rail (HSR) Planning Advisory Board.

Collenette had previously served as Ontario’s special adviser for high speed rail, said a Feb. 13 media statement.

Collenette authored the report High Speed Rail in Ontario that considered the feasibility of a high-speed train along the Toronto-Windsor corridor.

The report, submitted last May, recommended an HSR system with trains travelling at a top speed of 250 kilometres per hour, a two-phased timetable with London to Toronto coming first and proposed stops at Windsor, Chatham, London, Kitchener, Guelph, Toronto Pearson Airport and Toronto Union Station.

The trains would run on a combination of existing track and new dedicated rail corridors.

The timetable contemplated by Collenette in his report would see phase one in operation by 2025.

As part of his new duties, Collenette will continue to provide strategic support and advise the government on this project.

The statement said the province is aiming to appoint individuals with experience in high-tech, engineering, environmental sciences, transportation planning and financing and delivery of infrastructure projects to the HSR advisory board. It will include representation from agricultural and business communities, Indigenous communities and others from across southwestern Ontario.

The province has started the preliminary design process and has allocated $15 million for an environmental assessment. The project has been estimated to include $7.5-billion base direct costs and $21-billion base uplifted capital costs.

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