05/22/2012 05:15 EDT | Updated 07/22/2012 05:12 EDT

Toronto-Peterborough commuter rail link to be studied

The federal and Ontario governments have announced funding toward a preliminary engineering study on a commuter rail link between Peterborough and Toronto.

The link has been promised for years by the federal government and was mentioned in the February 2008 federal budget.

The study, announced Tuesday, will include preliminary engineering design work and determine upgrades needed to existing track to operate a commuter service between Union Station and the city of about 80,000.

Conservative Peterborough MP Dean Del Mastro said commuter rail would cut commute times and ease traffic congestion.

The federal and Ontario governments are splitting the $300,000 cost of the study.

Via Rail eliminated its connection between the two cities in 1990.

A site supporting the rail link said the commuting time would be 90 minutes. The link is expected to carry 950 passengers in each direction within one year of start-up, rising to 1,500 passengers over 15 years.