MONTREAL, Feb. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - Paul G. Smith, recently appointed as
VIA Rail Canada's Chairman, said today that "VIA Rail is undergoing one
of the biggest transformations in the corporation's history." When it
is completed, he concluded VIA Rail "will be a market leader, offering
Canada's best travel experience." He was speaking in Montréal to the
members of Quebec MBA Association.
Mr. Smith explained that VIA is expanding track capacity,
remanufacturing locomotives and rail cars, and modernizing passenger
stations and information technology systems … all as part of a major
five-year $923M capital improvement program, due to be completed by
He also described how VIA will make passenger rail a primary
transportation "backbone" between major urban centres by offering
faster, more frequent and more convenient service. Mr. Smith recognized
the foresight of the Government of Canada which has provided close to
one billion dollars for capital investments to VIA Rail, since 2007, in
part through its Economic Action Plan. This infusion of capital
represents the biggest capital investment in VIA's history. He
underlined that passenger train investments are on the rise worldwide.
Mr. Smith stressed the pressing need for sustainable solutions that
address the real environmental and congestion-related challenges facing
inter-city transportation in Canada today and in the future. He
maintained that "through improved efficiency and integration with
different modes of passenger transportation, the train is ideally
positioned to help Canada meet these challenges." He emphasized that
passenger rail is one of the most environmentally sustainable modes of
"Add it all up, and it means that the need for efficient, high quality,
and sustainable public transportation is becoming more important than
ever." concluded Mr. Smith.
About VIA Rail Canada
Serving over four million passengers annually, in both official
languages, VIA operates 503 intercity, transcontinental and regional
trains per week 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
To see the full version of the speech made by Paul Smith, please click
To access biographical notes and Mr. Smith's photo, please click http://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail/our-company/management-team/chairman-board.
SOURCE VIA RAIL CANADA INC.
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