It’s 83.8 km from the London VIA Station to the Kitchener VIA Rail station if you are going to ignore rural communities and go straight through farmland,
If you use the existing CN North right of way and go by St. Mary’s and Stratford it’s 94.3 km from the London VIA Station to the Kitchener VIA Rail station, 10.5 km further. At 250 kph it takes an additional 1.6 minutes to travel 10.5 km. Since the Government has already decided to bypass all rural communities, a Stratford and St Mary’s bypass would have a minoe impact on travel time and save over a 1,000 acres of farmland.
The Special Advisor’s report does not say how travel times are calculated but we suspect that station load and unload times have not been included in the calculations. In any event, if HSR goes through Stratford and stops at the VIA station, it’s will not add much than to the London – Toronto trip.
The other option is to extend GO train service along CN North to Startford and use CN South to access Toronto via Woodstock and Brantford. It’s 88.4 km from the London VIA Rail Station to the Brantford VIA Rail station.
The scope of the Environmental Assessment should be expanded to include other alternatives to the 250 kph train though farmland. Why is the Government not looking at providing enhanced rail service the the rural communities?