The completion of a $6.9 million project to restore VIA Rail’s heritage train station in Vancouver was celebrated today by the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport), Ms Wai Young, Member of Parliament for South Vancouver and Mr. David Hoff, a member of VIA Rail Canada’s Board of Directors.
“Today we see the positive results of Canada’s Economic Action Plan and other federal investments in the many upgrades made to Vancouver station”, said Minister Fletcher. “Our government continues to support projects like this that create jobs and improve passenger rail service and infrastructure.”
“These improvements will not only benefit the many travellers who use Vancouver Station but bring economic benefits to local and regional businesses and the community,” said Ms. Young,
VIA Rail has completed major renovations to the station, paying strict attention to preserving the heritage features of the building, which was built in 1919. First, the platform canopies and lighting were improved alongside the tracks where the trains arrive and depart, and station columns were repaired. This work was finished in 2010. Then a full restoration of the Vancouver Station building was undertaken. From top to bottom, the exterior masonry of the building was repointed and cleaned, the roof rebuilt, the exterior windows and doors restored or replaced and the iconic “Pacific Central” sign on the roof stabilized as well as security improvements made. This second phase was recently completed.
“We continue to transform passenger rail in Canada with new stations, tracks, trains and technology,” said David Hoff of VIA Rail. “We remain focused on what counts: responding to markets and the needs of our customers in the most efficient way possible.”
Funding for the upgrades to Pacific Central Station includes $2.3 million from the stimulus phase of the Economic Action Plan as part of a total investment of $923 million by the Government of Canada to VIA Rail to improve passenger rail services. It is among many other projects across the country to upgrade facilities, stations, equipment and infrastructure for the benefit of passengers. This includes improvements being made to the locomotives and passenger cars used on VIA’s western transcontinental service, which makes an important contribution to VIA’s success and Canada’s tourism industry.