January 9, 2018 12:05 pm
Updated: January 9, 2018 1:46 pm

Passenger rail service remains on track for Peterborough, local MPP says

Proponents hope Peterborough residents will have access to passenger rail service


The return of passenger rail service to Peterborough may be back on track. The line is currently used by freight trains hauling material out of the Indusmin Mine near Havelock but because of the condition of the railbed, trains are restricted to 10 kilometers an hour.

Recently, the federal and provincial government announced funding to complete a survey of the existing CPR railway line between Toronto and Havelock. Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal paid tribute to former federal MP Dean Del Mastro for this work in keeping the railway in the public eye.

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“I do recognize the work that was done by the former federal member from Peterborough, Mr. Del Mastro, and his work with the Shining Waters railway group, to look at making investments on both the frieght side and the passenger side,” Leal said.

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In 2016, VIA Rail proposed using the work done by Shining Waters as a basis for creating a passenger rail service on a rebuilt and extended CPR line. The proposed service would give priority of passenger trains over freight trains and would feature frequent runs between Toronto and Quebec City, with a stop in Peterborough.

“I believe the program that Via rail picked up is an extension of the Shining Water’s Concept. They are looking from going to Quebec City to Windsor on that corridor,” said Peterborough Mayor Daryl Bennett. “Rather than high-speed trains, they are looking at high frequency routes, which is a very innovative way of approaching what the needs of this area will be over the long term.”

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VIA Rail says the $5-billion passenger rail project would need federal government approval before the any train leaves the station.

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