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Government of Canada and VIA Rail complete major improvements

Government of Canada and VIA Rail complete major improvements

Today, the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport), and VIA Rail Chairman Paul G. Smith announced the completion of major track improvements between Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto that will lead to improved and faster passenger service. The project included $55 million in infrastructure upgrades between Ottawa and Montreal (Coteau), and track and safety improvements on VIA’s Ottawa and Brockville route, completing a major part of an over $300 million expansion of VIA’s key Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto corridor.

“I am pleased to see the great progress already made to improve a line that is important to so many travellers between Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto” said Minister Fletcher. “The completed upgrades move us forward, as our government has committed, to providing Canadians with safer, reliable and faster passenger rail service, while creating jobs and supporting economic growth.”

The track upgrades are part of the Government of Canada’s $923 million investment to improve passenger rail services, including $407 million in stimulus funding. Funding from the Economic Action Plan alone represents some 5,000 jobs (direct and indirect person-years) over the period 2009-2013.

Improvements being made as part of the first phase of upgrades include sections of new track,  passing sidings (tracks alongside the main line to enable trains to pull into them so that another train can pass in the opposite direction) to reduce conflicts with freight rail operations and increased traffic control and signalling.

“Better track and increased capacity will mean that we can safely operate more trains, and maintain higher speeds more consistently, allowing us to deliver faster trip times and more frequent departure options to travelers,” said Mr. Smith.  “We are working to meet the growing demand for robust, reliable passenger rail services, while also ensuring train travel meets the highest safety standards as well as being an environmentally green choice for travellers.”



Also in Canada today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to Montreal.

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City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.