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High Speed Rail project for Waterloo Region and beyond moves forward

570 NEWS - Caryn Ceolin

The Wynne government is moving to the next step in getting High Speed Rail service running through Waterloo Region.

It has issued a ‘Request for Bids’ for companies to take on the development of the environmental assessment terms of reference for the project.

Daiene Vernile, MPP for Kitchener Centre, tells 570NEWS the environmental assessment will look at not only how it will impact the environment, but basically every aspect of the rail system.

That will include track location; energy requirements; ridership expectations; where the stations will be built; what those stations will look like; and what kind of parking will be required.

It will also include conferring with municipalities along the train route, and with First Nations communities.

New train and safety standards will be developed with Transport Canada.

Vernile says the plan is have the trains up and running in 2024.

The line could serve as many as seven million people.

The planned stops along the line are Windsor, Chatham, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph and Toronto Union Station, with a connection to Pearson International Airport.

Minister of Transportation, Steven Del Duca, says in a statement, “this will be one of the largest planning and environmental assessments our province has ever completed.”