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4/19/2012



Rail News: Passenger Rail

VIA Rail to improve more than 50 stations


VIA Rail Canada Inc. is moving “full-steam ahead” on a $930 million capital investment project — its largest ever — that calls for improvements to more than 50 rail stations, agency officials recently announced.
 
The project includes upgrades and modernization work at key stations from Vancouver to Halifax, they said in a prepared statement. Improvements range from minimal cosmetic upgrades (such as exterior masonry work and new roofing) to building new stations. Other planned work includes improved platforms and customer service areas, passenger lounges, more energy efficient lighting and an expansion of Wi-Fi service to all stations.

“VIA Rail is well on the way to completion of this ambitious improvement project,” said Pierre Santoni, director of domestic and international sales. “Beyond the necessary improvements to ensure the traveler a pleasant experience, VIA is committed to preserving the historical significance of some of our oldest stations which date back to 1856.”

Improvements to the historic stations will include construction of a new, 6,300-square-foot business class lounge at Toronto Union Station; replacement of masonry, roof and windows at Pacific Central Station; renovations to the Halifax Station, such as heritage building preservation, a new lounge, upgraded platforms and parking lots;
 and construction of a new overhead walkway and island boarding platform and a completely rebuilt main platform at the Belleville Station.

Other aspects of the project will entail new locomotive and passenger-car infrastructure; expansion and renovation on such routes as the Ontario-Quebec corridor; the addition of new trains and faster service, including new express service between Montreal and Ottawa, and a doubling of trains between Ottawa and Toronto; and the introduction of new “green” technology to ensure equipment meets current environmental standards and improves fuel efficiency.



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