Mayor concerned high speed rail in Windsor "will never be built"
Could a rail accident that happened in Washington State happen in Windsor?
The crash has raised safety concerns regarding Ontario's plan for a high-speed rail service from Toronto to Windsor.
A speeding Amtrak train plunged off an overpass Monday, killing at least three people. Investigators say the train was hurtling at 80 mph in a 30 mph zone when it ran off the rails along a curve south of Seattle, sending some of its cars plummeting onto an interstate highway below.
In Windsor, Mayor Drew Dilkens is wondering if the Liberal government’s proposal will ever happen.
Last week, a request for bids was issued for an environmental assessment to determine the impact on the area between Kitchener - Waterloo and London.
The first phase of the multi-million dollar project is to have the rail line operational from Toronto to London by 2025.
The London to Windsor extension, which would include a stop in Chatham-Kent, is scheduled for 2031.
Dilkens wants the province to make a firm commitment to the second phase of the project before he gets excited about it.
“We have made it known to the province that we think that being included as a phase two after thought is not a good idea,” says Dilkens. “We should be included in the entire plan from the beginning.”
Dilkens tells CTV News he is concerned the Windsor portion of the project will never get done.
“We know the least profitable section is the portion between London and Windsor and let’s just put that on the table and talk about it today,” adds Dilkens. “Because if it doesn’t get built at the same time as the entire line, it’s likely that second phase will never be built.”
The Liberals say the proposed high speed rail service will cut people's travel times and create new opportunities for workers, businesses and residents.
The initial announcement in May said trains could reach speeds of 250 km/h between Kitchener and London, making that nearly 90-kilometre trip time out at 25 minutes.
The province says the private sector will have to help pay for the line. It will also be looking to the federal government for help.
Early estimates suggest the Toronto-to-London stretch of the line will have $4.1 billion in capital costs, with the capital costs of the London-to-Windsor stretch a further $3.4 billion. With other expenses and contingencies, the total cost climbs to approximately $20 billion.
The Liberal government has said construction on the high speed rail line “should ideally start by 2022.”