The Canadian province of Ontario is moving ahead with preliminary design plans and environment assessments for a new high-speed rail (HSR) corridor from Toronto to Windsor.

The new rail line is expected to support growth and create employment opportunities in the province's south-western region.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Ontario Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca said that the province plans to invest C$15m ($11.1m) to carry out the comprehensive environmental assessment procedure.

The government will form a new governing body to supervise and manage the work required to design and implement HSR.

Wynne said: “Building high-speed rail along the Toronto-Windsor corridor isn’t just a game changer for south-western Ontario, it’s going to deliver benefits all along the line.

“Seven million people live along the Toronto-Windsor transportation corridor; high-speed rail will get them where they need to be faster.”

The development was announced after Ontario special advisor David Collenette submitted a report on the feasibility of developing a high-speed rail network in the area.

"Building high-speed rail along the Toronto-Windsor corridor isn’t just a game changer for south-western Ontario, it’s going to deliver benefits all along the line."

The report noted that there is a business case for high speed rail along the Toronto-Windsor corridor, which also provides the opportunity to involve the private sector in the project's financing and implementation.

High-speed rails can travel at speeds of up to 250km per hour, and the proposed line will reportedly use a combination of existing track and new, dedicated rail corridors.

Bidding requests to support the environmental assessment are planned to be issued this autumn.

The new HSR line will feature stops between Chatham, London, Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph and Toronto, as well as a connection to Pearson International Airport.


Image: A rail line. Photo: courtesy of Scott Liddell / FreeImages.