Monday, November 09, 2009

Government of Canada, VIA Rail plan new station for Oshawa

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At a ceremony in Oshawa, Ontario, Colin Carrie, Member of Parliament for Oshawa; Oshawa Mayor John Gray, and Mr. Pierre Santoni, VIA Rail's National Sales Director, announced VIA's plans for a new station with improved and expanded facilities. VIA estimates that it will invest as much as C$7 million for the new station and related improvements from recent capital funding for VIA announced by the Government of Canada. Of the project's total cost, $3 million will come from the government's Economic Action Plan.




"Investment in a new VIA station for Oshawa will not only create new jobs and stimulate the economy but also allow VIA to provide better service to its local customers," said MP Carrie. "By investing in rail services and facilities such as those here in Oshawa, our government is stimulating economic activity and job creation, contributing to environmental sustainability and improving Canada's passenger rail system for years to come."



VIA's Pierre Santoni added, "The investments here in Oshawa and across our coast-to-coast route network will create a top-notch passenger rail service. A rail service that is safe, fast and sustainable. A rail service that is designed for Canadians in the 21st century. We are delighted that the citizens of Oshawa are going to be a part of this new era in rail travel."



VIA's new Oshawa station will be fully-accessible and adjacent to the existing building. VIA is currently studying options for the design of the new station, with the final design to be selected early next year. 

The new Oshawa station will replace a structure originally built by the Canadian National Railway in the 1960s and expanded by VIA in the 1990s.

VIA's previously-announced, C$300-million Kingston Subdivision Project will add sections of new main line track and will include rearranging the track layout in some locations to increase safety, train frequency and service reliability. In Oshawa, this involves adding one new main line track and a second platform, as well as reconfiguring the track layout. This cannot be done while still making use of the existing station.



"Oshawa's connection with and affection for the railways goes back to 1856, when the Grand Trunk's first train steamed into town," said Mayor Gray. "It brought with it so many opportunities for this city to grow and prosper. I'm convinced these VIA projects can and will do the same today."



VIA's Oshawa Station Project is linked with other work now or soon to be under way throughout the Quebec-Windsor Corridor, which generates almost 90 percent of VIA's ridership and 75 percent of its revenue. In combination, these projects will allow for increases in VIA train safety, frequencies, on-time performance, as well as reductions in travel time.



Major upgrading work is also under way on key elements of VIA's locomotive and rolling stock fleets for corridor, transcontinental and remote service. Other infrastructure projects are aimed at improving service quality and cost efficiency at other points across VIA's coast-to-coast route network. These upgrades are part of an unprecedented C$923 million capital investment in passenger rail modernization and expansion by the Government of Canada that is stimulating job creation, skills development and private sector activity across the country.

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