Upgrades on track that will lead to safer, faster service
OTTAWA, Nov. 4, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, the Honourable Steven
Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport), and VIA Rail Chairman Paul G.
Smith announced the completion of major track improvements between
Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto that will lead to improved and faster
passenger service. The project included $55 million in infrastructure
upgrades between Ottawa and Montreal (Coteau), and track and safety
improvements on VIA's Ottawa and Brockville route, completing a major
part of an over $300 million expansion of VIA's key
"I am pleased to see the great progress already made to improve a line
that is important to so many travellers between Montreal, Ottawa and
Toronto" said Minister Fletcher. "The completed upgrades move us
forward, as our government has committed, to providing Canadians with
safer, reliable and faster passenger rail service, while creating jobs
and supporting economic growth."
The track upgrades are part of the Government of Canada's $923 million
investment to improve passenger rail services, including $407 million
in stimulus funding. Funding from the Economic Action Plan alone
represents some 5,000 jobs (direct and indirect person-years) over the
Improvements being made as part of the first phase of upgrades include
sections of new track, passing sidings (tracks alongside the main line
to enable trains to pull into them so that another train can pass in
the opposite direction) to reduce conflicts with freight rail
operations and increased traffic control and signalling.
"Better track and increased capacity will mean that we can safely
operate more trains, and maintain higher speeds more consistently,
allowing us to deliver faster trip times and more frequent departure
options to travelers," said Mr. Smith. "We are working to meet the
growing demand for robust, reliable passenger rail services, while also
ensuring train travel meets the highest safety standards as well as
being an environmentally green choice for travellers."
To learn more about VIA Rail please visit www.viarail.ca, or follow VIA on Twitter at twitter.com/via_rail and on Facebook at facebook.com/viarailcanada.
The Government of Canada's Investment in VIA Rail
In 2007 the Government of Canada announced a five-year, $516 million
capital investment in passenger rail infrastructure and equipment.
Another $407 million was made available for capital projects in 2009
through the Government's economic stimulus program, the Economic Action
With this overall federal investment, totalling $923 million, VIA is
expanding track capacity, building better traffic control systems,
modernizing passenger facilities and stations, and renewing equipment.
Once these major capital projects are complete, VIA will be able to
operate more trains, deliver faster trip times, offer more frequent
departures, and provide a better quality of service to Canadians.
Track improvements in the Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto triangle focus on
reducing passenger service delays caused by conflicts with freight rail
operations and expanding track capacity for more passenger trains.
Measures are also being taken to ensure the safe operation of more
passenger trains at higher speeds. This will provide more reliable
on-time performance for passenger services, provide more flexibility in
scheduling services and reduce trip times, and also allow VIA to
provide more frequent services.
Montreal-Ottawa (Alexandria Subdivision): $18M
This project began in 2008, and was completed in June 2010.
Improvements include: one new passing siding, located tied in with the
existing Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) system on Alexandria
Subdivision; replacement of jointed rail with new Continuous Welded
Rail; and track and signal upgrades for speed improvements (max speed
Ottawa-Smiths Falls (Smiths Falls Subdivision): $16M
This project began in 2008 and was completed in September, 2011.
Improvements include: four new passing sidings located at Fallowfield,
Richmond, Dwyer Hill and Montague; Centralized Traffic Control (CTC)
System over the entire subdivision; upgrades to most public crossings;
track upgrades for speed improvements (max speed 100 mph); new safety
fencing; and an island platform between the mainline and siding at
Smiths Falls-Brockville (Brockville Subdivision): $20.4M
This project began in 2009, and was completed in June 2011.
Improvements include; two new passing sidings at Bellamy and Jasper;
Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) System over the entire subdivision;
upgrades to most public crossings; track upgrades for speed
improvements (max speed 100 mph); and new safety fencing.
Montreal - Toronto (Kingston Subdivision): $317.9M
Work on this double-track route - the busiest freight/passenger rail
line in Canada -- began in 2009, with work continuing through 2010-11.
Work will be completed in 2012. The project includes the construction
of a third track at key segments of the route, and major infrastructure
improvements at Brockville and Oshawa. The first segment of third
track, near Gananoque, Ontario, was completed in September 2011 and is
now in service.
Related Station Projects
VIA is renovating some stations and building new stations in the
Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto triangle to improve service to passengers and
to accommodate track expansion and reconfigurations. These projects
are separate from, but coordinated with, the track improvements
projects. Station projects include renovations to the station at
Cobourg, and new stations at Smiths Falls, Brockville, Belleville, and
Oshawa. The new Smiths Falls station was opened in October, 2011.
About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada's
(www.viarail.ca) mandate is to provide efficient, more environmentally
sustainable and cost-effective passenger transportation, in the
country's two official languages. Every week, VIA operates 503
intercity, transcontinental and regional trains linking 450 communities
across its 12,500 kilometres 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. Winner of the 2011 RAC Safety Award, VIA
transports over four million passengers annually.
SOURCE VIA RAIL CANADA INC.
For further information:
| Media Contacts || || || || |
| Brayden Akers |
Office of the Honourable
Minister of State (Transport)
| || Media Relations |
Transport Canada - Ottawa
| || Anne-Sophie Desmeules |
VIA Rail Canada