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Michael Schabas

Partner and Passenger Rail Practice Leader

Team member photo

Michael is an international rail expert and leads the global passenger rail practice for CPCS. He’s shaped multi-billion dollar rail projects in the UK and Canada and established passenger and freight rail and bus companies in the UK, Australia and Germany. He’s credited with conceiving and developing key strategies for Canada’s Ontario GO Corridor and Ontario Line projects, and continues to advise Toronto’s Metrolinx.

Michael has 40 years of experience in the development and operation of passenger rail, freight and urban transport systems. He conceives innovative solutions, prepares traffic forecasts, business plans and feasibility studies and has a detailed understanding of public-private partnerships. 

Michael speaks English, intermediate French and basic Mandarin and German. 

Michael’s achievements include:

  • Making the business case for the $22B electrification of  Toronto’s 450 km commuter rail network and showing how Toronto’s Downtown Relief Line Subway could be expanded into the much longer Ontario Line (Michael continues to provide advice to Metrolinx on both projects). 
  • Advising public and private sector clients on ways to improve passenger and freight railways in more than 20 countries.
  • Launching a profitable bus company in Germany.
  • Founding GB Railways, Hull Trains and Great Southern Railway, which continue to operate intercity and long-distance passenger and freight rail services in the UK and Australia.
  • Devising the route for London’s Jubilee Line extension and winning funding support from the UK. government.
  • Playing a leading role in upgrading the automated London Docklands Light Rail system.


  • Master’s, City and Regional Planning (Transportation) with distinguished achievement, CMHC Scholarship, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Bachelor’s, Architecture, University of Toronto

3 fun facts:

  • Has two children who both work as consultants, including one in aviation
  • Has run four marathons in London, Boston, Montréal and Vancouver
  • Wrote The Railway Metropolis: How Planners, Politicians and Developers Shaped Modern London published by ICE Publishing in 2016

Contact Michael

P: +1 613-237-2500