Part of making Kingston a leading 21st century city with a global impact means ensuring it’s as easy as possible for people to travel here. To attract visitors, businesses, researchers, entrepreneurs and future residents, we need strong transportation links for planes, trains and automobiles.
That’s why I’m fully supportive of VIA Rail’s proposed expansion of rail service in Eastern Ontario. The core of this plan is a new passenger dedicated rail line, and although this new rail line won’t run through Kingston, the overall effect on our city’s rail service will be significant. With this new rail line Kingston will be transformed into a regional hub for rail service in Eastern Ontario. Kingston is currently a midway stop between Toronto and Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa, and that means limited train schedules. Right now you can’t catch an early morning train from Kingston to Ottawa or a late evening train from Toronto to Kingston.
However, with Kingston as a regional rail hub, trains would start and end here, meaning far more convenient train schedules. For example, if you are in Kingston, you could catch an early morning train to Toronto, Ottawa or Montreal and then catch an evening train back. If you are in Toronto, Ottawa or Montreal, the same options of early morning and late evening trains would be available. Whether coming into Kingston or leaving, travel options by train would be significantly better.
In order for VIA Rail’s proposed rail service expansion to move forward, federal government funding will be required. The expansion of convenient rail travel for Kingston and Eastern Ontario will provide a viable alternative to travelling by car, which makes sense both economically and environmentally. And so I am happy to add my voice to the many other municipal leaders across Eastern Ontario trying to make this new rail service a reality.