The Ontario and federal governments announced they will provide 50 per cent of the funding for preliminary engineering studies for the restoration of a commuter rail link between Peterborough and Union Station in Toronto. VIA passenger train service on the line from Peterborough to Toronto was stopped in 1990.
MMM Group has been contracted by Shining Waters Railway to do the preliminary engineering design work for upgrading the existing track.
The new line would stretch approximately 120 kilometres, actually going to Havelock, one stop beyond Peterborough. Peterborough is a city of 120,000 on the Otonabee river northeast of Toronto, sometimes seen as the gateway to the Kawarthas cottage country.
Shining Water Railways would be a locally owned and managed railway, but would lease out the operations to “experienced railway providers.” Besides restoring passenger service, the company is intending to improve freight operations as well.
Except for the Peterborough George Street Station and Union Station in Toronto, all the other passenger stops – seven in all – will require new shelters and platforms.
The plan to revive the rail line is being spearheaded by MP Dean Del Mastro and has support from every municipality along the route. The provincial and federal governments have pledged $300 million capital funding to the project.