OSHAWA, ON, Sept. 14, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, as part of the ongoing
modernization of Canada's national passenger rail service, the
Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance and MP for Whitby Oshawa,
Dr. Colin Carrie, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and
MP for Oshawa, and VIA Rail Canada officially opened a new overhead
walkway and island platform at the Oshawa train station.
"Our Government is proud of investments like VIA's new island platform
at Oshawa Station and through the busy Québec City to Windsor corridor
that create jobs and improve passenger rail," said Minister Flaherty.
"These upgrades to the busy Oshawa VIA Rail station will translate to
more efficient, reliable service for passengers."
VIA Rail's new overhead walkway and platform, which began serving
passengers in July 2012, are fully accessible and are similar to work
being done at other VIA stations in Ontario. Oshawa's new, improved and expanded facilities include a
heated island platform for passenger comfort, elevators to and from the
new overhead footbridge for greater accessibility and a safer way to
get to and from trains and a new lateral platform.
Track modifications are also being made for greater capacity and to
improve speed allowing trains to bypass trains stopped at the station.
These modifications, to be completed later this fall, together with
other track improvements between Brockville and Oshawa, will mean
faster travel through the busy Windsor - Quebec City corridor, fewer
delays for current trips and allow for smoother train movement.
Funding for this $16M project came from the Government of Canada's
nearly $1B investment in VIA Rail since 2007 for improvements to its
facilities, equipment and infrastructure, and included $3M from
Canada's Economic Action Plan.
Oshawa's station was built in the 1960s and renovated about ten years
ago. "The improvements we are celebrating today, made possible by
funding from the Government of Canada, have created jobs, helped
Canada's economy, will provide real benefits for travelers in Oshawa,"
said Mr. Paul. G. Smith, VIA Rail's Chairman of the Board. "They will
also align VIA for potential growth in ridership in the years to come."
About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national passenger rail service, VIA Rail Canada (www.viarail.ca) has a mandate to provide Canadian travellers with safe, efficient, and
cost-effective passenger transportation services in the country's two
official languages. VIA operates intercity, regional and
transcontinental train services linking 450 communities through its
12,500-kilometre network. Winner of the 2011 RAC Safety Award, VIA Rail
safely transports more than four million passengers annually. In 2007,
the Government of Canada invested almost a billion dollars in VIA Rail.
Follow our transformation on viarail.ca/transformingVIA.
About the new Oshawa Facilities
The project was carried out in conjunction with a $350 million program
to upgrade the rail infrastructure throughout the CN Kingston
Subdivision between Montreal and Toronto. It is made possible by an
unprecedented $923 million capital investment in the national passenger
rail service by the federal government, which will allow VIA to deliver
efficient, reliable, faster and more frequent passenger train services
in the years ahead.
The need for new facilities
The Kingston Subdivision infrastructure improvements include building
additional lines of track, which will allow passenger and freight
trains to overtake and pass each other without needing to slow down or
stop on a siding. One new pocket track is being added at Oshawa. This
means that a new "island boarding platform" located between tracks was
necessary at the station, reached by an overhead bridge by passengers
to ensure their safety.
A modern, attractive facility
The design of the new facilities responds to the needs and expectations
of Canadian travellers in the 21st century, providing a relaxing and welcoming experience for customers,
and reinforcing VIA's market position as the more "human" way to
VIA is recognized as the green choice for travellers concerned about the
environment, and delivers an attractive service that is encouraging
more and more people to get out of their cars and onto passenger
trains. The key to VIA's success has been its renowned onboard service
and customer care, focused on making train travel the best possible
travel experience for its customers.
VIA designed the new Oshawa facilities to extend this attention to
detail and customer care to the station itself, making arrival and
departure part of that experience. Design features include:
Fully accessible features from the parking lot to the platform for
passengers with disabilities.
An efficient and aesthetically pleasing layout to ensure smooth
Large, ample windows to allow plenty of light and views outside,
including views of train arrivals and departures from multiple vantage
Wider boarding platforms and expanded waiting areas.
SOURCE: VIA RAIL CANADA INC.
For further information:
Office of the Hon. Steven Fletcher
Minister of State (Transport)
Transport Canada - Ottawa
Senior Advisor, Media Relations
VIA Rail Canada
514 871-6137 1 877 393-8787