David Collenette, the ‘brains’ behind the under-used, over-priced, executive-class UP Express service, has announced another of his plans: a $19 billion, twice-hourly, high-speed train between Toronto and Windsor. The provincial government made much of it today.
Collenette has two proposals, the cheaper (and slower) of which would put a 250 km/h train on the corridor that runs through Weston. It would run from Union to Pearson, then on to Kitchener, Guelph, London and Windsor. Collenette says the train would be profitable and could be built speedily.
He’s said that before. He was so utterly wrong that he should never be allowed near a cocktail napkin again.
- The UPX was supposed to be $200 million. It cost three times that.
- It was supposed to be running by 2008. It took until 2015.
- It was supposed to be profitable. It has never been profitable.
Moreover, there is already train service to every destination the government has in mind. GO Trains run to Kitchener and Guelph. VIA trains go to London and Windsor. The competition is brutal, too: flights to Windsor are about $150 and take an hour, and the Ontario government has also already announced all-day service to Kitchener and other improvements to regional rail service.
In the unlikely event that this high-speed line ever gets built, it will require undoing much of the work already done on the corridor: “a number of infrastructure upgrades”, in Collenette’s words.