March 20, 2009

Canadian Government, VIA complete rail upgrades

Canada’s Transport Minister John Baird, Donald A. Wright, chairman of the board at VIA Rail Canada, and President/CEO Paul Côté, announced that more than $13 million in passenger rail improvements in the Ottawa area are now complete.

“The Government of Canada is taking action to provide faster, more frequent and reliable passenger rail service, which is vital in serving some 450 communities across Canada,” said Minister Baird. “Today’s announcement is another example of government investments that will benefit Canadians by providing jobs to build and improve VIA Rail.”

This investment supplements the $516 million announced for VIA Rail in 2007 for capital requirements. This second phase of the revitalization plan will help VIA consolidate previous investments and continue renewing its assets while securing its plans for continued growth.

Upgrades so far on VIA’s network include a $12.5 million investment in the Alexandria Subdivision, between Ottawa and Montreal as well as similar improvements currently underway on the Smiths Falls Subdivision between Toronto and Ottawa. In addition, major renovations worth some $500,000 were made to the Ottawa station, which will allow VIA to serve customers more efficiently and will address operational and safety needs.

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