Government of Canada and VIA Rail Announce New Windsor Station

WINDSOR, ON, March 1 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, the Honourable Rob Merrifield, Canada's Minister of State (Transport) and VIA Rail Canada's President and CEO, Marc Laliberté, announced the Government of Canada is investing to build a new train station for Windsor with improved and expanded facilities. They were joined at the announcement by Jeff Watson, Member of Parliament for Essex and Windsor Mayor, Eddie Francis. "This investment builds on the Government of Canada's commitment to improving passenger rail service and infrastructure for Canadians along this important and busy rail corridor," said Minister Merrifield. "Most importantly, a new and expanded VIA station will create new jobs and help stimulate the economy here in Windsor."

"This new station will bring significant economic and environmental benefits to the people of Windsor-Essex and beyond." said MP Watson. "As a result of these improvements, I'm confident more people will be encouraged to choose the train as a safe, reliable and environmentally responsible alternative."

"The investments here in Windsor and across our transcontinental route network will help to enhance a passenger rail service that is safe, swift, sustainable and designed for the needs of Canadians in the 21st century," added Marc Laliberté. "VIA is delighted that the citizens of Windsor are going to be a part of this new era in rail travel."

VIA's new Windsor station will be fully accessible and will be built on a site near the existing building. Scheduled for completion in the fall of 2011, it will replace a structure originally built by Canadian National in the early 1960s and expanded by VIA in 1982. The majority of the $6 million in funding for the new Windsor station and related improvements will come from Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan.VIA's Windsor Station Project is linked with other work currently or soon to be underway throughout the Quebec-Windsor Corridor, which generates almost 90 per cent of VIA's ridership and 75 per cent of its revenue. In particular, announced by VIA last year were improvements to the Chatham Subdivision with federal funding of $17 million to add a new rail traffic control system and major improvements to the track structure between Windsor and Chatham.

"These improvements will help give Windsor a modern passenger rail station and service, a major improvement from the days when the Great Western's first train steamed into town," said Mayor Francis. "Today's announcement will help ensure that Windsor's passenger rail service is fully equipped to continue delivering convenient, comfortable and efficient service well into the future."

The construction of VIA's new Windsor station is part of an unprecedented $923 million capital investment in passenger rail modernization and expansion by the Government of Canada. This investment is stimulating job creation, skills development and private sector activity across the country. Additional infrastructure projects are aimed at improving service quality and cost efficiency at other points across VIA's coast-to-coast route network.

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 - in both official languages. 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 travelers increasingly turn to train travel as a safe, reliable 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.

    
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To learn more about VIA's Capital Investment Program and its many upgrading works, please visit http://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail/our-company/capital-investment

SOURCE VIA Rail Canada Inc.

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


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