BELLEVILLE, ON, Sept. 12, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Earlier today, as part of
the ongoing modernization of VIA Rail Canada, Mr. Daryl Kramp, Member
of Parliament for Prince Edward-Hastings on behalf of the Honourable
Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport), officially opened the
new Belleville train station, overhead walkway and island platform.
"Our government is proud to support projects like the new VIA Rail
Belleville Station that create local jobs and boost the economy", said
MP Kramp on behalf of the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State
(Transport). "This new and modern station is just one of many upgrades
to VIA's stations, tracks, passenger cars, and locomotives
infrastructure in the busy Windsor-Toronto-Montreal corridor, resulting
in faster, and more reliable service for all VIA rail passengers."
VIA Rail's new Belleville station, walkway and platform, which began
serving passengers in March 2012, is fully accessible. The new station,
designed to complement the adjacent heritage station, has high
ceilings, modern masonry and bright colours. From the waiting area, a
wall of windows offers unobstructed views of the overhead walkway,
island platform and tracks. An in-station Wi-Fi system has also been
installed. The new station is also more energy efficient, with
high-efficiency windows and insulation materials as well as LED
lighting in all exterior lampposts.
Funding for this $18M project came from the Government of Canada's
nearly $1B investment in VIA Rail since 2007 to create jobs and
economic growth while improving VIA Rail's facilities, equipment and
infrastructure, and included $2.5M from Canada's Economic Action Plan.
Belleville's original station was built in 1856 and received a Heritage
designation in 1973. The heritage station will remain on site, next to
the new station. "The old station was simply not big enough to
accommodate the growing number of passengers", explained Marc Beaulieu,
VIA Rail's Regional General Manager (East) and Chief of
Transportation. "The new overhead walkway leading to an island
platform will allow us to accommodate more trains. In addition, the
new building has the capacity for many more travellers, aligning VIA
for potential growth in ridership in the years to come."
About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national passenger rail service, VIA Rail Canada
(www.viarail.ca) has a mandate to provide Canadian travellers with
safe, efficient, and cost-effective passenger transportation services
in the country's two official languages. VIA operates intercity,
regional and transcontinental train services linking 450 communities
through its 12,500-kilometre network. Winner of the 2011 RAC Safety
Award, VIA Rail safely transports more than four million passengers
annually. In 2007, the Government of Canada invested almost a billion
dollars in VIA Rail. Follow our transformation on viarail.ca/transformingVIA.
About the new Belleville Station
The project was carried out in conjunction with a $350 million program
to upgrade the rail infrastructure throughout the CN Kingston
Subdivision between Montreal and Toronto. It is made possible by an
unprecedented $923 million capital investment in the national passenger
rail service by the federal government, which will allow VIA to deliver
efficient, reliable, faster and more frequent passenger train services
across the country in the years ahead.
The need for a new station
The Kingston Subdivision infrastructure improvements include building
additional lines of track, which will allow passenger and freight
trains to overtake and pass each other without needing to slow down or
stop on a siding. One new main line is being added at Belleville. This
means that a new "island boarding platform" located between tracks was
necessary at the station, reached by an overhead bridge by passengers
to ensure their safety.
The existing station, built in 1856, could not be redesigned efficiently
to allow for the overhead bridge and island platform facilities. In
addition, passenger volumes have exceeded the capacity of the original
station, and are expected to keep growing. In a passenger network
serving some 450 communities, Belleville is VIA's 10th busiest station. It is a key access hub on the Kingston subdivision
which carries approximately 130 passenger, freight and commuter trains
A modern, attractive facility
The design of the new station responds to the needs and expectations of
Canadian travellers in the 21st century, providing a relaxing and welcoming experience for customers,
and reinforcing VIA's market position as the more "human" way to
VIA is recognized as the green choice for travellers concerned about the
environment, and delivers an attractive service that is encouraging
more and more people to get out of their cars and onto passenger
trains. The key to VIA's success has been its renowned onboard service
and customer care, focused on making train travel the best possible
travel experience for its customers.
VIA designed the new Belleville facility to extend this attention to
detail and customer care to the station itself, making arrival and
departure part of that experience. Design features include:
Fully accessible features from the parking lot to the platform for
passengers with disabilities.
An efficient and aesthetically pleasing layout to ensure smooth
passenger flows, along with comfortable and relaxing waiting areas.
Large, ample windows to allow plenty of light and views outside,
including views of train arrivals and departures from multiple vantage
Wider boarding platforms and expanded waiting areas.
Attention to details such as making electrical outlets easily accessible
for customers with laptops, who want to make productive use of their
time in the station.
Parking and drop-off facilities designed for the convenience of
Landscaping that preserves and reinforces a natural environment,
including existing trees and plantings.
A partnership with the community
The new station design reflects and enhances Belleville's cultural
heritage and environment, and was developed in consultation with the
community it serves.
The new station is located adjacent to the former one, which is a
designated heritage property. Its design and appearance were inspired
by the design of the original building. VIA is working with the City
of Belleville and other local groups to develop new uses for the old
station which will best serve the needs of the community.
Designed for future growth
VIA designed the new station to accommodate future needs, as passenger
demand continues to grow. For example:
The design includes expanded facilities for ticket purchases to handle
increasing passenger volumes in the future.
Waiting areas have been designed to allow the addition of food and
beverage service concessions in the future
Image with caption: "VIA Rail Officially Opens New Belleville Station (CNW Group/VIA RAIL CANADA INC.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120912_C5998_PHOTO_EN_17771.jpg
SOURCE: VIA RAIL CANADA INC.
For further information:
Office of the Honourable Steven Fletcher
Minister of State (Transport)
Transport Canada - Ottawa
Senior Advisor, Media Relations
VIA Rail Canada
514 871-6137 | 1 877 393-8787