MONTREAL, Que. — The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) wants the federal government to support expanding rail links between Montreal and Toronto, and take more than a million trucks a year off the 401.
Rob Ritchie, chief executive officer of the CPR, said in a speech to the Canadian Railway Club yesterday that a $2-billion partnership between the railway and the federal government makes more sense than expansion of Hwy. 401, which already is one of the most congested freeways in North America.
“Simultaneously, we would improve the efficiency of the trucking industry and help solve some of the traffic congestion and pollution problems in Montreal and Toronto. We would make the Canadian economy more productive and efficient, and provide Via Rail an opportunity to expand high-speed, inter-city passenger rail service,” Ritchie said.
Ritchie pointed out CPR’s other initiative, the Detroit River Tunnel Project (DRTP) in Windsor. Its plan would see the construction of a new rail tunnel under the Detroit River, and conversion of an existing CPR tunnel into a two-way road link for cross-border truck traffic. The plan is designed to improve the flow of border trade, but local residents who will be affected by the DRTP don’t like the idea of more truck traffic through neighborhoods near the Ambassador Bridge.
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