Government of Canada and VIA Rail announce new station for Cobourg



    COBOURG, ON, Sept. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - At a ceremony in Cobourg, Ontario,
Northumberland-Quinte West MP Rick Norlock, Mayor Peter Delanty and John
Marginson, VIA Rail Canada's Chief Operating Officer, announced VIA's plans
for a new station with improved and expanded facilities. VIA estimates that it
will invest as much as $7 million for the new station and related improvements
from recent capital funding for VIA announced by the Government of Canada. $1
million of the project's cost will come from the government's Economic Action
Plan.
    "Investment in a new VIA station for Cobourg will not only create new
jobs and stimulate the economy, but also allow VIA to provide better service
to the people of this region." said Rick Norlock, MP for Northumberland-Quinte
West. "By investing in rail services and facilities such as those here in
Cobourg, our government is stimulating economic activity and job creation,
contributing to environmental sustainability and improving Canada's passenger
rail system for years to come."
    VIA's John Marginson added, "The investments here in Cobourg and across
our coast-to-coast route network will create a top-notch passenger rail
service. A rail service that is safe, swift and sustainable. A rail system
built by and for Canadians - for the 21st century. We - the 3,100 employees of
VIA - are delighted that the citizens of Cobourg are going to be a part of
this new era in rail travel."
    VIA's new Cobourg station will be a fully-accessible and
aesthetically-pleasing structure adjacent to the existing building. VIA is
currently studying options for the design of the new station, with the final
design to be selected later this year.
    Whatever design is selected for the new Cobourg station, the preservation
of the existing structure is assured. Discussions will soon begin with the
Town of Cobourg regarding the preferred future use of this historic building.
The existing heritage-designated building, opened in 1911, is no longer large
enough to accommodate all customers at peak travel periods.
    Furthermore, VIA's previously-announced, $300 million Kingston
Subdivision Project will add new main line tracks and will include rearranging
the track layout in some locations to increase safety, capacity and service
reliability. In Cobourg, this involves adding one new main line track and a
second platform, which cannot be done while still making use of the existing
station.
    "Cobourg's connection with and affection for the railways goes back to
1856, when the Grand Trunk's first train steamed into town," said Cobourg
Mayor Peter Delanty. "It brought with it so many opportunities for this town
to grow and prosper. I'm convinced these VIA projects can and will do the same
today."
    VIA's Cobourg Station Project is linked with other work now or soon to be
underway throughout the Quebec-Windsor Corridor, which generates almost 90% of
VIA's ridership and 75% of its revenue. In combination, these projects will
allow for increases in VIA train safety, frequency and on-time performance, as
well as reductions in travel time.
    Major upgrading work is also underway on key elements of VIA's locomotive
and rolling stock fleets for intercity, transcontinental and remote service.
Other infrastructure projects are aimed at improving service quality and cost
efficiency at other points across VIA's coast-to-coast route network. These
upgrades are part of an unprecedented $923 million capital investment in
passenger rail modernization and expansion by the Government of Canada that is
stimulating job creation, skills development and private sector activity
across the country.

    About VIA Rail Canada

    As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada's mandate is
to provide efficient, environmentally sustainable and cost-effective passenger
transportation, both in Canada's business corridor and in remote and rural
regions of the country. Every week, VIA operates 503 intercity,
transcontinental and regional trains linking 450 communities across its
12,500-kilometre route network. The demand for VIA services is growing as
travellers increasingly turn to train travel as a safe, hassle-free and
environmentally responsible alternative to congested roads and airports. In
2008, VIA safely transported 4.6 million passengers - the most since 1989 -
and set an all-time record of $299 million in revenue.
    
    Backgrounders:
    --------------

    <a href="http://www.viarail.ca/sites/all/files/media/pdfs/About_VIA/media-room/backgrounders/BK090716E%20-%20VIA%20Kingston%20Sub%20Backgrounder.pdf">VIA's CN Kingston Subdivision Project</a>
    <a href="http://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail/media-room/backgrounders">Other Capital Investment Backgrounders</a>
    




For further information:

For further information: Ashley Doyle, VIA Rail Canada, (416) 528-9125;
Chris Hilton, Office of the Minister of State (Transport), (613) 991-0700


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