Absolutely fantastic, though it's definitely a long, long, long way from coming to pass. I hope they choose the approach recommended by the study in the mid-90s: 300+km/h trains on a separate right of way. The optimal routing is from Windsor to London on the existing CN line, with freight diverted to the busier CP route; from London to Kitchener on a new right-of-way; from Kitchener to Pearson on the existing right-of-way with a by-pass of Guelph; from Pearson to Union on the Weston Sub; from Union to about Oshawa on the Kingston Sub right-of-way; from Oshawa to Kingston on a new right-of-way north of the 401; from Kingston to Ottawa via a new route to Smiths Falls and the existing VIA-owned route north to Ottawa; from Ottawa to Montreal on the abandoned M&O Sub already owned by VIA for a potential high speed route; from Montreal to Quebec via Laval and Trois Rivieres on the existing former CP route. That's pretty much the route recommended in the mid-90s study.
I think a spur line to Hamilton/Niagara would have its benefits, too. With US pre-clearance facilities in Buffalo, we could also lobby for funding from Eliot Spitzer.
It's absolutely insane that the home of the world's biggest manufacturer of high-speed trains doesn't have a single example of the type. The biggest danger is that Canada falls into the typical Anglo-Saxon trap of the "cheapo" solution (a term that Hipster Duck, I believe, coined a little while ago).
Ha ha. Maybe I'm suffering from amnesia, but I don't remember coining the word 'cheapo', although I certainly feel that way about Anglo Saxon fiscal prudishness.
High speed rail has enormous potential. It's absolutely bizarre how in countries all of the world, including all of Europe, high speed rail is considered economically and environmentally essential. The only places on earth where it's considered a frill are Anglo-Saxon countries.
Faith in libertarianism and a hatred for social welfare seems to be the binding thread of all English speaking power brokers, whether they are Oxbridge-educated elites or nouveau-riche hicks from Arkansas. There's no better rallying cry for neo-conservatives than the opportunity to bash passenger rail.
I'm really cynical about this. There are several excellent HSR proposals in NA, like California, that will probably just end up in the filing cabinet. As the need to develop HSR becomes more pressing, expect skeptics to resort to more childish and desperate attacks, including:
a) the all-Canadian 'we should spend that money on health care instead'
b) Bill O'Reilly mouthing off about how HSR was pioneered in Europe by those dastardly French
c) the usual rhetoric about lack of profitability and a need to constantly subsidize
d) Jeffrey Simpson's notorious hate-on for VIA rail, despite making pleas to do something about greenhouse gas emissions
e) An appeal by Thomas L. Friedmann to invest money in biofuels research as a way of securing our energy future.