VANCOUVER, April 13, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The completion of a $6.9
million project to restore VIA Rail's heritage train station in
Vancouver was celebrated today by the Honourable Steven Fletcher,
Minister of State (Transport), Ms Wai Young, Member of Parliament for
South Vancouver and Mr. David Hoff, a member of VIA Rail Canada's Board
"Today we see the positive results of Canada's Economic Action Plan and
other federal investments in the many upgrades made to Vancouver
station", said Minister Fletcher. "Our government continues to support
projects like this that create jobs and improve passenger rail service
"These improvements will not only benefit the many travellers who use
Vancouver Station but bring economic benefits to local and regional
businesses and the community," said Ms. Young,
VIA Rail has completed major renovations to the station, paying strict
attention to preserving the heritage features of the building, which
was built in 1919. First, the platform canopies and lighting were
improved alongside the tracks where the trains arrive and depart, and
station columns were repaired. This work was finished in 2010. Then a
full restoration of the Vancouver Station building was undertaken. From
top to bottom, the exterior masonry of the building was repointed and
cleaned, the roof rebuilt, the exterior windows and doors restored or
replaced and the iconic "Pacific Central" sign on the roof stabilized
as well as security improvements made. This second phase was recently
"We continue to transform passenger rail in Canada with new stations,
tracks, trains and technology," said David Hoff of VIA Rail. "We remain
focused on what counts: responding to markets and the needs of our
customers in the most efficient way possible."
Funding for the upgrades to Pacific Central Station includes $2.3
million from the stimulus phase of the Economic Action Plan as part of
a total investment of $923 million by the Government of Canada to VIA
Rail to improve passenger rail services. It is among many other
projects across the country to upgrade facilities, stations, equipment
and infrastructure for the benefit of passengers. This includes
improvements being made to the locomotives and passenger cars used on
VIA's western transcontinental service, which makes an important
contribution to VIA's success and Canada's tourism industry.
Designated a Heritage Rail Station by the Government of Canada in 1991,
Vancouver Station has been a landmark in downtown Vancouver since
1919. It was named Pacific Central Station in 1993, when VIA began
operating the facility as an integrated intermodal terminal serving
Amtrak trains from Seattle and intercity bus services, as well as VIA's
VIA has completed extensive restoration of the station over the past
three years, including work on the platform canopies alongside the
tracks, repair and repointing of all exterior stonework, roof repairs,
and restored or new exterior windows and doors. Security improvements
have also been made. The $6.9 million restoration was funded by the
Government of Canada, including $2.3 million from the Government's
Economic Action Plan.
A feature article on the restoration project is available online:
A media gallery of project photos is available at:
Investing in Passenger Rail
The station investment is part of a nationwide investment to improve
Canada's passenger rail service. The Government of Canada announced a
$516 million investment to strengthen passenger rail services in 2007.
Another $407 million was added in 2009 through Canada's Economic Action
Plan, the Government's economic stimulus program. The total of $923
million in funding is the biggest capital investment in VIA Rail's
Capital projects include:
Trains: rebuilding locomotives and passenger cars to improve
reliability, environmental performance, and quality of service.
Track: improving and upgrading track in the Quebec-Windsor Corridor,
where the demand for passenger rail service is highest, to improve
on-time performance and allow faster, more frequent intercity trains.
Stations: major renovations and restoration such as the Vancouver
station project, building new stations where needed, and upgrading all
stations across Canada to improve customer comfort, safety and
Technology: upgrading and developing new technologies to improve
operational efficiency, provide better online services to customers,
enhance customer service, and integrate VIA's travel booking and
ticketing systems with those of other transportation services.
Information on all capital projects is available online at: viarail.ca/transformingVIA
VIA in Western Canada
VIA provides passenger services mandated by the Government of Canada.
These include rapid intercity services, cross-Canada services, and
services to remote communities.
In Western Canada, VIA provides year-round, all-weather services,
including the legendary Canadian train operating between Toronto and
Vancouver three times per week. VIA also operates regional services in
the West, between Jasper, Alberta and Prince Rupert, British Columbia,
and between Winnipeg and Churchill, Manitoba.
More information about VIA Rail and its services is available online at:
About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada's (www.viarail.ca) mandate is to provide safe, efficient, environmentally sustainable
passenger transportation, in the country's two official languages.
Every week, VIA operates 503 intercity, regional and transcontinental
trains linking 450 communities across its 12,500-kilometre route
network. Winner of the 2011 RAC Safety Award, VIA transports over four
million passengers annually. Since 2007, the Government has provided
VIA with nearly one billion dollars in capital investment funding.
Follow the evolution of current projects at viarail.ca/transformingVIA. Follow VIA on Twitter at twitter.com/via_rail. Visit VIA on Facebook at facebook.com/viarailcanada
SOURCE VIA RAIL CANADA INC.
For further information:
Office of the Honourable
Minister of State (Transport)
Transport Canada - Ottawa
VIA Rail Canada