The proposed rail link would initially pass through Candiac, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Farnham, Bromont, Magog and Sherbrooke. It would be provided by a fast train, which would make a few daily round trips.
A second phase would connect Quebec to Boston. The train would then pass through Coaticook, then through Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, with a planned stop at Old Orchard, a seaside resort historically popular with Quebec vacationers.
The project is promoted by the Night Trains Foundation which, as its name suggests, would like to see a night service between Montreal and Boston operated.
Its director, former MP François Rebello, is registered as a lobbyist in Ottawa. Its mandate includes representations to Transport Canada, Infrastructure Canada and Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions.
The Night Trains Foundation has also been promoting a nocturnal link between Montreal and New York for four years, but this project is currently
on the icesaid Friday afternoon in an interview with 15-18 its president François Pepin, who for a long time piloted the organization Trajectoire Québec.
A completely different experience
Regarding the Montreal-Boston project, Mr. Pepin assures us that
there have already been approaches at the level of the companies which own the tracks and that these are
interested by the project, just as are
He argues that the Montreal-Sherbooke section could be of interest to tourists,
commuters who frequently have to move from one city to another, but also municipalities wishing to develop their industrial parks,
because there is a track improvement component that could also be used for freight transport.
The subsequent section, between Sherbrooke and Massachusetts, would instead be used to operate a train that would leave Montreal’s Central Station in the evening to arrive in Boston 14 hours later.
Mr. Pepin is aware that the journey would be almost three times longer by train than by car. But according to him, the demand will be there to take advantage of what he presents as
a completely different experience.
There is a way to sleep on board and also to eat and eat. It’s part of the trip, of the “train experience”. And also, it effectively prevents driving problems, whether fatigue, discomfort and especially traffic jams on the 10 in Montreal or on highways like the 93 in Boston.
” Over the decades the railway lines have been abandoned […] because deemed unprofitable. But today, we realize that it is still an interesting alternative rather than taking his vehicle. »
Mr. Pepin explains that the Montréal-Sherbrooke project he has been working on for several years now
is quite advanced. Traffic and construction cost studies were completed in 2017, he says.
So, on that side, some work has already been done. There, it would be necessary to complete the work towards Boston.
The president of the Night Trains Foundation foresees a productive meeting next Thursday. This will allow
bring together all the decision-makers, [de] update them on the progress of the project and see what the next steps arehe points out.