Key Milestones

June 2024 – Looking ahead

In June 2024, VIA HFR is planning to host collaborative planning workshops for the 2024 field study program with Ontario Indigenous Nations. These workshops will likely take place in Peterborough, Ontario.

April 2024 - WE ARE HERE

The 2024 field study program began in April. These field studies focus on air quality, amphibians, birds, bats, fish and mussels, insects, noise and vibration, reptiles, wildlife tracking and water and will be ongoing until December. Continuing with our studies this year will enable us to provide points of reference that will help decision-makers understand how the project could change these conditions, and to prescribe protection if needed. Throughout the 2024 field study program, Indigenous Peoples will be engaged in meaningful dialogue, where appropriate. For VIA HFR, the knowledge and guidance of Indigenous Nations will be critical to informing project plans and development.

2024

On March 19, 2024, CEO of VIA HFR, Martin Imbleau, presented to the Chambre de commerce et d'industrie de Québec (CCIQ) the vision for the rapid passenger rail project between Québec City and Toronto.

February 2024

On February 20, 2024, during an address to the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montréal (CCMM), Martin Imbleau, CEO of VIA HFR, presented a rapid passenger rail project between Québec City and Toronto that has evolved considerably with the recent creation of a new federal Crown corporation entirely dedicated to its development.

Introductory meetings between Indigenous Nations and bidders took place in Montréal, Ottawa and Toronto between February 19 and February 27, 2024.

December 2023

On December 5-6, 2023, VIA HFR hosted collaborative planning workshops for the 2024 field study program with Québec Indigenous Nations. These workshops took place in Montréal, Québec.

November 2023

November 21, 2023: Peterborough Mayor Jeff Leal hosted his Mayor’s Breakfast with a special guest: our CEO, Martin Imbleau. Martin provided an overview of the HFR project, which will have a strong positive impact for the citizens of Peterborough.

November 16, 2023: VIA HFR’s CEO, Martin Imbleau, spoke at the “Rail Symposium: Safety & Climate Resiliency on our Rails!” organized jointly by the Railway Association of Canada and the Association québécoise des transports (AQTr). Amidst a growing Canadian population, he explained how a Toronto – Québec City railway corridor on dedicated tracks would pave the way for a fast, reliable, frequent, and safe passenger rail-system.

November 7, 2023: This week, our CEO, Martin Imbleau, delivered a speech during the NRD23 conference organized by Canadian Association of Railway Suppliers (CARS). He presented the HFR project and explained how this ambitious and transformative intercity transportation solution will bring lives and cities closer together.

November 7, 2023: VIA HFR’s CEO, Martin Imbleau, met with the CEO of the Chambre de commerce du Canada, the Honorable Perrin Beatty. They spoke of the importance of putting our fast, frequent and reliable train on dedicated tracks, and how the HFR will have a major impact on our economy by enhancing the transport of people as well as of goods in the most densely populated region of the country.

October 2023

On October 13, 2023, the Government of Canada launched a Request for Proposals (RFP). Through the RFP, the Government of Canada will select a private sector partner to collaborate with to optimize the HFR project prior to a final investment decision by the Government of Canada.

July 2023

On July 31, 2023, the arrival of new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Martin Imbleau was announced by the Board of Directors. Following a national and international search, the appointment of Martin Imbleau as CEO, effective September 8, 2023.

April 2023

Between April and November, 2023, HFR planners conducted a series of preliminary field studies for the project, including studies on noise and vibration, fish and fish habitat, wildlife tracking, air quality and water.

March 2023

March 30, 2023: VIA HFR’s Chair of the Board, Rob Prichard, delivered a special address on the HFR project at the Toronto Region Board of Trade’s Transportation Symposium. His remarks focused on the need and vision for HFR and how the project will progress in the coming months.

February 2023

On February 17, 2023, the Government of Canada launched a Request for Qualifications (RFQ). The RFQ period closed on April 24, 2023. On July 20, 2023, the Government of Canada qualified three bidding teams to respond to the Request for Proposals. The goal is to select a partner in 2024 to co-develop and optimize the project. Learn More

On February 23, 2023, VIA HFR met with Mayor Shawn Pankow of the Town of Smiths Falls and Mayor Genevieve Lajoie of the Municipality of Casselman. We had the opportunity to share the latest developments on our transformative intercity transportation project, connecting people and communities along the Québec-Toronto corridor with a fast, frequent, and reliable train.

2022

On December 15, the Minister of Transport announced the establishment of the VIA Rail Subsidiary—VIA HFR to support High Frequency Rail and appointed three founding members to its Board of Directors. Earlier in the fall the HFR Team appointed three professionals to increase the expertise available to plan the HFR project.

On March 9, the Government of Canada took an important step towards launching the procurement process of the HFR project when the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced the launch of a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI). The RFEOI was released by Public Services and Procurement Canada the following day, March 10. It supports the procurement phase for the HFR project – a multi-year process that includes a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) followed by a Request for Proposals (RFP).

With the RFEOI, the Government of Canada sought feedback from private sector parties that are interested in the design, build, finance, operation and maintenance of the HFR project and from those with experience in delivering projects under collaborative co-development models. Submissions responding to the RFEOI were provided to Canada by May 31st, 2022. The Government of Canada has reviewed all responses, provided an update to the marketplace on October 31st, 2022. The gathered information from the RFEOI informed the next steps in the procurement.

In 2022, HFR planners conducted the second series of preliminary field studies for the project, including studies on noise and vibration, fish and fish habitat, wildlife tracking, air quality and water.

2021

On July 6, the Government of Canada announced the first steps in preparing for the procurement process to build a new train service from Toronto to Québec City.

These steps include:

  • Engaging Indigenous Peoples and communities to obtain feedback on the project.
  • Engaging with the private sector to determine capacity and seek perspectives on the best possible delivery model. The Government of Canada plans to finalize the delivery model and launch the process to select a private partner.
  • Accelerating dialogue with partner railways to negotiate dedicated routes and, where necessary, shared access in and out of city centres.

2019-2021

In 2020, HFR planners conducted the first series of preliminary field studies for the project, including studies on noise and vibration, fish and fish habitat, wildlife tracking, air quality and water.

In 2019, the Government of Canada granted funding for and established a Joint Project Office (JPO) as a joint venture between the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and VIA Rail to conduct de-risking, due diligence, pre-procurement and planning activities; to explore and analyze operating models; and to develop evidence-based options of procurement and financing for the HFR project. The JPO oversaw the HFR project through to the end of 2021.

2016

VIA Rail put forward the concept of the construction of HFR between Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and Québec City.

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High Frequency Rail

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