Via station in Chatham (file photo by Simon Crouch)

High Speed Rail Could Be Coming To Chatham Soon

The mayor of Chatham-Kent is excited about high speed rail maybe stopping in Chatham.

The province announced Friday morning that it’s moving forward with preliminary design work and investing $15-million in a comprehensive environmental assessment.

Mayor Randy Hope says high speed rail would be good for the economy and would create jobs.

“I think it’s economic.  I find it interesting when they say we’re the development nation but when you go to some other countries that have high speed rail, we’re not so developed,” says Hope. “I think this will put us on the leading edge of development.”

Other proposed stops include Windsor, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph and Toronto, with a connection to Pearson International Airport.

Premier Kathleen Wynne says high speed rail could cut travel times between Toronto and Windsor from four hours to just over two.

The province says high speed trains would move at speeds of up to 250 km/h using a combination of existing tracks and new, dedicated rail corridors.

Hope says high speed rail will connect more people with less hassle.

“They’re going to spend money to do an environmental [assessment] and hopefully it’ll push people to realize that we need to distribute population more evenly throughout Ontario,” Hope says. “High speed rail will do that.”

Hope has experienced high speed rail first hand and says it’s the way to go.

“I’ve been on high speed trains that have gone 174 km/h to 305 km/h and let me tell you, the ride is smooth, it just makes sense and there’s no hassles at airports,” the mayor says.