See the original article (french only) : Québec Hebdo
Currently, the routes are interrupted by the passage of freight trains. To avoid this problem with the HFT, new tracks will be built. The link between Montréal and Québec City will pass through Laval and Trois-Rivières.
This project is estimated to cost anywhere from 6 to 12 billion dollars. In the last budget, a $500 billion envelope over six years had been granted to VIA Rail for infrastructure work.
“This is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Canada of the last decades,” said Transport Minister of Canada Omar Alghabra at the Gare du Palais train station in Québec City.
The trains will be powered by diesel in urban areas and electricity for 90% of its routes. An HFT can travel up to 200 kilometres per hour, which is 40 kilometres per hour faster than VIA Rail’s fastest locomotives.
The procurement process for infrastructures related to the project has been initiated on Tuesday. The next major stages include an environmental assessment and the consultation of the communities involved, including 36 Indigenous communities that are located along the intended routes.
The neighbourhoods around the future railway will also be surveyed, as well as some private railroad partners who control the access to some urban centres.
The call for tenders to find a manufacturer will be conducted in the fall.
A victory for the Capitale-Nationale
For Québec City Mayor Régis Labeaume, the announcement of a railway link to Québec City is a “huge victory”.
“We were right to not give up and fight for Québec City to be included in the project.”
Régis Labeaume, Mayor, Québec City
A stop is planned at the Jean Lesage airport, where a train station will be built. After a difficult financial year, the railway link will allow the airport to develop, according to Jean-Yves Duclos, President of the Treasury Board.
Moreover, eight years after the tragedy that struck the Lac-Mégantic community, Minister Alghabra announced that the creation of a by-pass track would be one of his priorities.
“I remain personally committed to making this project progress as quickly as possible. Railroad safety remains a priority for our government,” he added.