Construction project for the Lac-Mégantic Bypass Railways

The Government of Canada confirmed on May 11, 2018, that it would fund 60% of the construction costs of the Lac-Mégantic bypass following the train derailment that occurred on July 6 2013. The Government of Quebec will fund the other 40% of the project cost. The project will be managed by Canadian Pacific Railway (CP), which acquired the Central Maine & Quebec Railway (CMQR) in December 2019. CP will own the bypass once the construction is completed.

The 12.8 km route follows an axis described as generally east-west, from the municipality of Frontenac, the town of Lac-Mégantic to the municipality of Nantes. The choice of the final route is based on numerous studies undertaken as part of a feasibility study. The following criteria were used for the comparative analysis:

  • Technical characteristics (geometry of the track and grading)
  • Human environment (proximity to buildings and communities passed through)
  • Land planning (acquisition of permanent right-of-ways, land affected and fragmented)
  • Natural environment (crossing of watercourses and wetlands)
  • Level crossings
  • Engineering works (necessary structures) and culverts

The selected bypass removes the rail right-of-way from downtown Lac-Mégantic and reduces the number of buildings near the railway.

CP will be responsible for the plans and specifications, and the construction of the bypass. The Government of Canada, in collaboration with the Government of Quebec, will implement monitoring and follow-up mechanisms to ensure that the project meets the expectations and requirements for both levels of government.

The plans and specifications phase for the project was launched in May 2021. The Government of Canada, in collaboration with CP, has established an accelerated timelines that will allow the bypass project to be completed in 2023.


Latest update

January 28th, 2022 – The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) is a responsible authority for the Lac-Mégantic project so will need to make a determination under the IAA. All comments received during the consultation period (July 16th - August 19th 2021) will be taken into account in the determination by both the CTA and Transport Canada.


Key documents

Key documents
Document Number Document Title File Date
1 Construction project for the Lac-Mégantic Bypass Railways - July 16, 2021


Environmental and Aboriginal affairs - Québec region

  • Location

    • Lac-mégantic (Quebec)
  • Nature of Activity

    • Railways
  • Assessment Status

    In progress
  • Start Date

  • Proponent

    Transport Canada
  • Authorities

    • Canadian Transportation Agency
    • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    • Transport Canada
  • Assessment Type

    Project on federal lands
  • Reference Number


This map is for illustrative purposes. The markers represent the approximate locations based on available data. More than one marker may be identified for a given assessment.


Nearby assessments

...within 200 kilometres
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