OTTAWA, Dec. 29 /CNW/ - Today, the Government of Canada announced the completion of several federally funded projects to upgrade the Keewatin Railway Company's passenger rail service. Among these is the construction of a new passenger station and loading ramp in the community of Pukatawagan. The $700,000 initiative, funded under Canada's Economic Action Plan, will improve facilities for passengers and their luggage. Keewatin Railway operates a passenger and freight rail service between The Pas and Pukatawagan in northern Manitoba and is owned by three First Nations communities.
"Investments in Keewatin Railway have already resulted in safer, more reliable and comfortable service for passengers," said the Honourable Rob Merrifield, Canada's Minister of State (Transport). "They continue to bring benefits to the surrounding region."
"Keewatin Railway Company would like to thank the Government of Canada for its continued support and is currently working on a $1.2-million maintenance shop as part of the Economic Action Plan funding. The building is slated to be complete by March 31, 2011. Keewatin Railway would not be where it is today without the support of the Government of Canada," said Anthony Mayham, chief executive officer of Keewatin Railway Company.
During the past two years, federal funding has enabled the Keewatin Railway to undertake major upgrades to its rail services. Completed projects include the purchase of a locomotive and new rail cars, as well as track maintenance and repair. In addition to total Economic Action Plan funding of $3.8 million over two years, Keewatin will be allocated up to $1.6 million in new capital funding this year. This will allow the railway to complete regular track surfacing work, bridge repairs and facility improvements.
Federal funding comes from the Regional and Remote Passenger Rail Services Class Contribution Program, administered by Transport Canada. In Budget 2010, the Government of Canada announced renewed funding of $32.2 million over a two-year period for the Regional and Remote Passenger Rail Services Class Contribution Program. The program ensures that safe, reliable and sustainable passenger rail service is provided to certain regional and remote areas of the country. These services also contribute to economic activities in the lumber, mining, recreation and tourism sectors, and provide access to the transportation network for remote communities.
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For further information: For further information:
Office of the Minister of State (Transport)
Transport Canada, Ottawa