At a ceremony in Belleville, Ontario, Prince Edward-Hastings MP Daryl Kramp, Mayor Neil Ellis and Pierre Santoni, VIA Rail Canada's Senior Director, National Sales, 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. C$2.5 million of the project's cost will come from the government's Economic Action Plan.
VIA’s new Belleville
station will be a fully-accessible and aesthetically-pleasing structure adjacent
to the existing building. VIA is currently studying options for the design of
the new station, with the final design to be selected later this year. Whatever
design is selected for the new Belleville station, the preservation of the
existing structure is assured.
Discussions will soon begin
with the City of Belleville regarding the preferred future use of this historic
building. The existing heritage-designated building, opened in 1856, is no
longer large enough to accommodate all customers at peak travel periods. Furthermore,
VIA’s previously-announced, C$300-million Kingston Subdivision Project will add
new main line tracks and will include rearranging the track layout in some
locations to increase safety, train frequency and service reliability. In
Belleville, this involves adding two new main line tracks and a second
platform, which cannot be done while still making use of the existing station.
VIA’s Belleville 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, frequency and 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
intercity, 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 $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.