The potential route was derived from the instructions to the bidders for the Environemntal Assessment, “Attachment #3 – The Deliverables”.
From Kitchener-Waterloo to London, the service is proposed to predominantly run adjacent to and within an existing Hydro One corridor.
A note about the map
|The map is not official but it is our best guess as to where the HSR corridor will go based on the Request For Quote for the Environmental Assessment. The green area within the red circle is the 50 metre radius to show the width of the Hydro Right of Way. The 2 parallel red lines show the approximate location of HSR corridor if it is to the west of the Hydro lines and the 2 green lines show the approximate location of the HSR corridor if it is to the east. The lines are 50 meters apart. HSR will go somewhere within these lines, we just don’t know where.|
Two possible options are shown for the connection from Kitchener to the Hydro corridor. The solid green line is the route recommended in the First Class Partnership report and the dash green line uses the Kitchener – Stratford Hydro corridor to connect to the Kitchener – London Hydro corridor.
Special Advisor for High Speed Rail in Ontario: Final Report, December 2016
The bid package for the Environmental Assessment ( _tender7661 ) defines what will be be delivered as a result of the EA.
Addendum #6 (Feb 1, 2018).
• Phase 1: Toronto-London (target operational date 2025). - HSR service between Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo would run on existing, enhanced shared track with GO Regional Express Rail (RER). - HSR service between Kitchener-Waterloo and London would run on new, dedicated track adjacent to and within a hydro corridor. * Attachment #3 - The Deliverables - Rev 2, page 3
HSR from Kitchener to Toronto will run adjacent to and within a hydro corridor. There is only one Hydro corridor and it starts just east of Baden and goes to the south west corner of London. The corridor right of way is 50 metres wide. HSR can not run within the existing Hydro Right of Way since there are Hydro towers in the way so it must run adjacent to the corridor. Which side of the corridor HSR will run down will be determined by the EA process.
Emphasis are mine.
"'Alternatives to' HSR within the Identified Corridor The project is limited to HSR in the Kitchener-Waterloo to London corridor and will not include any additional assessment of 'alternatives to'(i.e. other transportation modes). The justification for the limitation shall be documented in the ToR and obtained from recent MTO Minister mandate letters, previously completed studies, and relevant government policy statements and directives. 'Alternative Methods' of Delivering HSR within the Identified Corridor A process by which a reasonable range of 'alternative methods' (i.e. track routes and alignments, locations and initial layout for stations, proposed overhead catenary infrastructure to support electrification, connection and substation options to support electrification, grade separations and crossings, location of maintenance facilities, etc.) are assessed and evaluated must be outlined and documented in the ToR. As this segment will be established within a new corridor, track routes are required to be included as an 'alternative method'." * Attachment #3 - The Deliverables - Rev 2, page 16
So what the first part (‘alternatives to’) says is that HSR (ie: 250 kph) will only be in the Kitchener to London segment and no other alternatives to HSR will be considered. This refers to expanded VIA service, GO Trains, Regional Express, etc.
The second part says that the route may be modified for grade separations, road crossing, etc. There are other reasons listed elsewhere in the document and these include avoiding wet lands, unstable soil, etc. However, the modifications to the route must stay within the identified corridor. .(ie: the Hydro One corridor from the CN North rail line (Baden) to the CN South rail line (London).
The Government continues to say that the route has not selected but will be done as part of the Environmental Assessment Terms of Reference. That is somewhat misleading. The Government may not know exactly where it is going but they certainly know approximately where it is going.