China pursues high-speed rail scheme in Canada

Still smarting from its ejection from a Mexican high-speed rail project, China is reported to be zeroing in on another scheme in the Americas, this time in Canada.

The province of Ontario is developing plans for a high-speed line between the cities of Windsor and Toronto (pictured), a driving distance of about 360km, and the Chinese ambassador to Canada is lobbying for a Chinese role in the project.

Ambassador Luo Zhaohui has been talking to Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne about China offering help with designing, building and operating such a line, according to newspaper The Globe and Mail, which quoted an unnamed Ontario government official.

Nothing will happen right away. An environmental assessment process, which the province launched late last year, will take between four and six years to complete, the newspaper reported.

One study seen by CBC News put the rough cost of such a line at CAN$2.5bn.

One official response to the idea of China’s involvement has been one of welcoming expertise from anywhere. Ontario’s transport minister, Steven Del Duca, told The Globe and Mail: "I’m open to exploring and drawing on not just potentially Chinese experience, but any global experience in terms of best practices that are out there."

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