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VIA Rail improving Chatham-Windsor line, adding Brockville station

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At a ceremony in the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, Ontario, officials kicked off a major rail infrastructure project to increase and improve the safety, frequency and speed of passenger rail service all along VIA's busy Toronto-Windsor route.

The upgrading under way
on VIA’s 56-kilometer (35-mile) portion of the Chatham Subdivision extends west
from Bloomfield to Lacasse and includes:

• constructing a new
passing siding at Stoney Point;

• adding an advanced
Centralized Traffic Control signal system;

• welding and
destressing the remaining 18 kilometers (11 miles) of jointed rail;

• installing 13,000
new hardwood ties;

• upgrading safety
protection at rail/road grade crossings; and
 constructing 29 kilometers
(18-miles) of strategically-located safety fencing.

Scheduled for completion
by the end of 2010, VIA’s Chatham Subdivision Project is budgeted at C$17
million of which C$6 million has been provided under the Government of Canada’s
Economic Action Plan.

VIA’s Chatham Subdivision
Project is closely linked with other work that is now, or soon will be, under way
throughout the Quebec-Windsor Corridor, which generates almost 90 percent of
VIA’s ridership and 75 percent of its revenues. Other corridor projects include
similar upgrading of other VIA-owned lines between Montreal and Ottawa and
between Ottawa and Smith Falls, Canadian Pacific’s Smiths Falls-Brockville line
and Canadian National’s Montreal-Toronto main line. These projects combined
will lead to increased VIA train frequency and speed, better reliability and
on-time performance, as well as improved safety.

Major upgrading work is
also under way on key elements of VIA’s locomotive and rolling stock fleets for
intercity, transcontinental and remote services. Other infrastructure projects
are aimed at improving service quality and cost efficiency at other points
across VIA’s coast-to-coast route network. This upgrading is 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.

At a ceremony in
Brockville, Ontario, VIA Rail unveiled its plans for a new station with
improved and expanded facilities.

VIA’s new Brockville
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 early next

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, C$3 million will come
from the Government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan. The existing Brockville
station, opened in 1872, 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
sections of new main line tracks and will include rearranging the track layout
in some locations to increase safety, train frequency and service reliability.
In Brockville, this involves adding one new main line track and a second
platform, as well as building a new track crossover and reconfiguring the track
layout. This cannot be done while still making use of the existing station.

Brockville Station Project
is linked with other work now or soon to be under way throughout the
Quebec-Windsor Corridor.

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