Glen Murray’s high-speed rail plan is flawed
Ontario Transportation Minister Glen Murray’s should drop his high-speed rail dream and commit to a conventional rail improvement plan.
In train-poor Canada, it is inevitable that some anxious politician on the campaign trail will promise to deliver ultra-expensive high-speed rail if re-elected.
So it is in Ontario today. Even before the writ was dropped, Transportation Minister Glen Murray was coupling a Toronto-Kitchener-London high-speed rail line to his party’s heavily freighted train of previous transportation promises.
Known as Moving Ontario Forward, that pre-election plan includes all-day, two-way service and electrification of the entire GO system, big-ticket subway and light rail transit projects galore and major highway improvements. This, say the Liberals, can all be done for $15 billion within a decade — without tax increases or new user fees.
When Murray added his high-speed rail plan to his party’s bulging basket of goodies, he said it wouldn’t add to the cost of those previous promises. Unfortunately, he won’t release the full details of his supertrain until after the election, so it’s hard to determine how such a financial miracle works.