U.S.-based rail company Amtrak has revealed plans to expand its footprint in Canada with new connections between Toronto and Detroit, and Montreal and St. Albans, Vermont.
The rail company last week released its “2035 Vision” that includes a map outlining proposed new passenger routes and enhancements of existing service lines. According to the Windsor Star, the Biden Administration committed US$80 billion of a $2 trillion infrastructure plan to address Amtrak’s 2035 Vision and modernization plan.
Amtrak’s current service into Canada is limited, with routes between Toronto or Montreal to New York, and from Vancouver to Seattle.
The possibility of a direct Toronto-Detroit link is realistic for 2035, if not sooner, company spokesman Marc Magliari told the Windsor publication. The proposed Toronto to Detroit line has been in the works since 2019 and the last direct train to run between the two cities was some time between 1968 and 1970, Amtrak estimates.
Restoring the link between the metropolises would not only allow Torontonians direct rail access to The Motor City, but also a connection to Chicago. Magliari says establishing a direct rail link between Chicago and Toronto is feasible.
“We believe (a Chicago to Toronto rail line) is a great market that is untapped,” Magliari said. “We are going to work to lower barriers to start that service and you will hear more about that as the year goes on.”
The Amtrak budget still needs to be approved by U.S. Congress before it can be officially adopted.