OTTAWA — A federal infrastructure agency is providing $71 million to Via Rail to help it in its plan to build dedicated tracks for faster, more frequent service in Ontario and Quebec.
The details unveiled on June 25 show that some of the money will fund work to make sure that Via trains can seamlessly move between any new dedicated tracks and local transit systems in Montreal and Toronto.
For Montreal, that includes running Via trains along the electric-rail system under construction, known best by its French acronym R.E.M., which the Canada Infrastructure Bank is also financing.
The rail company wants to build a multibillion-dollar new network of dedicated passenger-rail lines so its trains will no longer have to yield to freight trains on borrowed tracks.
The infrastructure bank money will be largely used for environmental assessment, consultations with Indigenous communities, and a technical and financial review to help the government make a final funding decision.
The high-frequency rail project is expected to cost $4 billion and Via Rail is exploring ways to have a private investor pick up some of the costs.
© 2019 The Canadian Press