Canadian Geographic
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Tracking rail


High-speed passenger rail is currently being studied for the Montréal-Toronto corridor. High-speed trains run on dedicated tracks at speeds in excess of 200 kilometres per hour. Canada possesses both the expertise to build high-speed rail — Bombardier is a global leader — and the population to support high-volume passenger rail along the Québec-Windsor, Calgary-Edmonton and Vancouver-Seattle corridors.

The growth of the Canadian freight rail system will require expansion of new ports, such as Prince Rupert, B.C. A container ship sailing from China can reach Prince Rupert about two days sooner than it would arrive in Los Angeles, making this northern port the fastest goods route from Asia to North America. Likewise, Halifax, N.S., stands closer to Europe and India than do competing American ports. And, if climate change results in an ice-free Northwest Passage, northern ports such as Churchill, Man., could be developed into an Arctic route to Russia.

The electrification of Canada’s rail lines is another option that could provide Canadian railways an advantage over U.S. competitors in the future. Rail is already the most fuel-efficient way to move goods over ground. Clean electric power — generated by hydro, tidal, wind or solar — would liberate Canadian rail from dependence on increasingly expensive fossil fuels. Such clean-powered electric rail is the only existing technology capable of moving heavy goods with no greenhouse-gas emissions.


This piece features an interactive map and narration that explains the importance of intermodal freight and its movement across the country, providing detailed information about each port. Users can also click to view a pie chart that details the volume of rail marine exports and imports in Canada.


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Quiz :

Which type of passenger rail is currently being studied for the Montréal-Toronto corridor?