Corridor (Via Rail)

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The Corridor
VIA Rail Belleville 0002.jpg
A Via Rail train approaching Belleville Station
Type Inter-city rail
System Via Rail
Locale Quebec City–Windsor Corridor
Termini Windsor Station
Quebec City Station
Opening 1856
Owner Canadian National
Via Rail
Canadian Pacific
Operator(s) Via Rail
No. of tracks 2+
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Operating speed Up to 100 mph (160 km/h)
Route map
Map of the Corridor

The Corridor is a Via Rail passenger train service area in the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario.

Corridor is used by Via to refer to all Via inter-city passenger trains which start and end within the geographic region known as the Quebec City–Windsor Corridor. Other inter-city trains from outside the Corridor may have their terminus at stations in the Corridor, such as the Canadian and the Ocean, but are marketed by their respective train names and are not considered to be Corridor services.

The Corridor service area has the heaviest passenger train frequency in Canada, with 36 Via trains traversing the route daily.[1] About 67% of Via's revenue comes from Corridor routes.

Via runs a mix of local-service and express trains in the Corridor. Most of the trackage is owned by CN, although Via also owns two former freight lines, one from Smiths Falls, Ontario, to Coteau-du-Lac, Quebec via Ottawa; and one from Chatham, Ontario to Tecumseh, Ontario. It also runs on Canadian Pacific rails between Smiths Falls and Brockville, Ontario.[2]

Prior to Via's formation in 1978, CN Rail operated trains on the same tracks and CP Rail also offered limited service.

All trains are identified by number; however, in previous schedules these trains were named as well.

High speed proposal[edit]

During the 1970s and early 1980s, CN and later Via Rail operated the Turbo Train on existing freight rail trackage. This equipment was later replaced by the Bombardier LRC (Light, Rapid, Comfortable) train sets. Beginning in the 1980s and through the 1990s, Via Rail, Bombardier and the provincial and federal governments studied the feasibility of establishing a dedicated high-speed passenger rail network linking Quebec City–Montreal–Ottawa–Toronto–Windsor similar to the French TGV as a means of reducing domestic air and highway travel between these destinations.

After a hiatus of ten years, a feasibility study on launching a high-speed rail service in the Corridor will be updated at the joint cost of the federal government, Ontario and Quebec.[3] On November 14, 2011, the three governments have officially released the final report of a high-speed rail study for this corridor.[4]

On December 5, 2014, the MTO has approved to start an Enivornmental Assessment on the best route for a high speed rail connecting Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, London and Windsor for 2015.[5]

Improvements to Corridor[edit]

In 2009–2010, Via used C$300 million of government stimulus money to upgrade segments of the Corridor. Notable track improvements planned were an additional 70 km (43 mi) of third main track in four segments, and a short segment of fourth main track, as well as additional yard tracks at three locations. Improvements were made to several stations along the line, with new station buildings being constructed at Belleville and Cobourg, and additional platforms for existing stations at Brockville and Oshawa. The improvements were planned to reduce delays along the route and to allow for a reduction in travel time of up to 30 minutes from end to end. They were intended to allow Via to introduce two new round-trip trains from Toronto to both Montreal and Ottawa without requiring the acquisition of new equipment.[1]

Primary inter-city Corridor routes[edit]

Via routes in "The Corridor"
0km Windsor
69km Chatham
0km Sarnia
22km Wyoming
124km Glencoe
63km Strathroy
205km Ingersoll
130km St. Marys
147km Stratford
219km Woodstock
189km Kitchener
262km Brantford
211km Guelph
44km Grimsby
19km St. Catharines GO
Highway 406
Queen Elizabeth Way
1km Niagara Falls GO
0 km Niagara River
Maple Leaf to New York City
303km Aldershot GO
240km Georgetown GO
256km Brampton GO
Highway 401
325km Oakville GO
Queen Elizabeth Way
Toronto GO TTC
254km to
21km Guildwood GO
51km Oshawa GO
101km Port Hope
113km Cobourg
163km Trenton Junction
182km Belleville
217km Napanee
254km Kingston
285km to
290km Gananoque
335km Brockville
380km Smiths Falls
430km Fallowfield OCT
446km Ottawa OCT
493km Casselman
428km Cornwall
533km Alexandria
476km Coteau
Ottawa River West Channel
Ottawa River East Channel
520km Dorval AMT
539km Montreal
272km to
Saint Lawrence River
545km Saint-Lambert AMT
Richelieu River
592km Saint-Hyacinthe
639km Drummondville
785km Charny
Saint Lawrence River
790km Sainte-Foy
811km Quebec City
  • Montreal–Ottawa (6 per weekday, 4 Saturday/Sunday)
  • Montreal–Quebec City (5 per weekday, 3 Saturday/Sunday)
  • Toronto–Montreal via Cornwall (5–6 per weekday, 4 per Saturday, 5 per Sunday)[6]
  • Toronto–Montreal via Ottawa (3 per weekday, 2 per Saturday, 2 per Sunday)
  • Toronto–Ottawa via Kingston (7–8 per weekday, 5 per Saturday, 6 per Sunday)
  • Toronto–Sarnia via Georgetown and London (1 per day)
  • Toronto–London via Georgetown (2 per day including Sarnia trains)
  • Toronto–Windsor via Brantford and London (4 westbound Sunday–Thursday, 4 eastbound Monday–Friday, 3 per day other days)
  • Toronto–London via Brantford (5 per weekday, 4 Saturday/Sunday including Windsor trains)[7]

The Maple Leaf, a through service from Toronto to New York City, operated jointly with Amtrak, is crewed by Via as trains 97 and 98 on VIA schedules, between Toronto and Niagara Falls and can be considered part of Corridor services as well. It is the only scheduled rail service from the Corridor line at Burlington to Niagara Falls.

Commuter rail[edit]

A GO Transit train on the main line west of Toronto

Two commuter rail agencies, provincially funded and independent of Via, share tracks with Via's Corridor trains.

See also[edit]