Québec City-Windsor Corridor

The Québec City-Windsor Corridor originally refers to the densely populated and heavily industrialised region spanning across 710 miles (1,150 km) in Southern Ontario and Southern Québec between Windsor and Québec City.  It is the home of nearly 60% of the Canadian Population.  Via Rail Canada uses the name to refer to the train routes it operates in the region and simply calls it the Corridor.  The majority of the Corridor is owned by the Canadian National Railway.  It is the busiest and fastest mix-running rail corridor in Canada.  Various passenger and commuter rail agencies operate trains in the Corridor including Via Rail Canada, Amtrak, Metrolinx (GO Transit, where GO stands for Government of Ontario), and AMT (Agence métropolitaine de transport).

New York bound Amtrak Maple Leaf service passing by Oakville Yard

The fastest stretch of railway in the Corridor is the 330 mile (530 km) long CN Kingston Subdivision from Montréal to the east end of the Union Station Rail Corridor in Toronto, where passenger trains today (they used to be faster with the TurboTrain in the late 1960s to early 1980s) regularly hit a top speed of 100 mph (161 km/h).  The fastest train service today in the Corridor runs between downtown Toronto and downtown Montréal (distance of 335 miles or 539 km) in 4 hours and 32 minutes.

Via Rail Ottawa / Montréal bound Budd / LRC J-train at Kingston Station

Via Rail Ottawa / Montréal bound LRC / Renaissance J-train in Port Hope

(The J-trains refer to joint eastbound trains from Toronto to Ottawa and Montréal that split up in Brockville, Ontario.  The Montréal bound train continues on the Kingston Subdivision while the Ottawa bound train turns north onto the Canadian Pacific tracks to Smith Falls.)

Oshawa bound GO Train in Rouge Hill on the Kingston Subdivision

The Kingston Subdivision is currently being upgraded by Via Rail with federal stimulus fund to add segments of 3rd and 4th mainline tracks and yard tracks to accommodate additional passenger services planned.  Via Rail Station improvements at Brockville, Belleville, Cobourg, and Oshawa are also currently underway.  As part of the MoveOntario 2020 transit plan, Metrolinx has proposed the electrification of the Lakeshore line (running on the Kingston Subdivision west of Pickering) between Oshawa and Aldershot.

GO / Via Rail Aldershot Station in Burlington

Add-on platforms (Tracks 26, 27) and evening GO rush at Union Station
(How many GO Trains are there in this picture?)

We will take another short break from passenger rail next week and take a look another freight application.


James McAllister said…
Amtrak doesn't operate the Maple Leaf in Canada. A VIA crew runs it from Toronto to the border. VIA station announcers call it a VIA train, (how insecure are we?) but it has an Amtrak train number.
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