As part of the ongoing modernization of VIA Rail Canada, Mr. Daryl Kramp, Member of Parliament for Prince Edward-Hastings on behalf of the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport), officially opened the new Belleville train station.
“Our government is proud to support projects like the new VIA Rail Belleville Station that create local jobs and boost the economy”, said MP Kramp on behalf of the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport). “This new and modern station is just one of many upgrades to VIA’s stations, tracks, passenger cars, and locomotives infrastructure in the busy Windsor-Toronto-Montreal corridor, resulting in faster, and more reliable service for all VIA rail passengers.”
VIA Rail’s new Belleville station, walkway and platform, which began serving passengers in March 2012, is fully accessible. The new station, designed to complement the adjacent heritage station, has high ceilings, modern masonry and bright colours. From the waiting area, a wall of windows offers unobstructed views of the overhead walkway, island platform and tracks. An in-station Wi-Fi system has also been installed. The new station is also more energy efficient, with high-efficiency windows and insulation materials as well as LED lighting in all exterior lampposts.
Funding for this $18M project came from the Government of Canada’s nearly $1B investment in VIA Rail since 2007 to create jobs and economic growth while improving VIA Rail’s facilities, equipment and infrastructure, and included $2.5M from Canada’s Economic Action Plan.
Belleville’s original station was built in 1856 and received a Heritage designation in 1973. The heritage station will remain on site, next to the new station. “The old station was simply not big enough to accommodate the growing number of passengers”, explained Marc Beaulieu, VIA Rail’s Regional General Manager (East) and Chief of Transportation. “The new overhead walkway leading to an island platform will allow us to accommodate more trains. In addition, the new building has the capacity for many more travellers, aligning VIA for potential growth in ridership in the years to come.”