As part of the ongoing modernization of Canada’s national passenger rail service, the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance and MP for Whitby Oshawa, Dr. Colin Carrie, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and MP for Oshawa, and VIA Rail Canada officially opened a new overhead walkway and island platform at the Oshawa train station.
“Our Government is proud of investments like VIA’s new island platform at Oshawa Station and through the busy Québec City to Windsor corridor that create jobs and improve passenger rail,” said Minister Flaherty. “These upgrades to the busy Oshawa VIA Rail station will translate to more efficient, reliable service for passengers.”
VIA Rail’s new overhead walkway and platform, which began serving passengers in July 2012, are fully accessible and are similar to work being done at other VIA stations in Ontario. Oshawa’s new, improved and expanded facilities include a heated island platform for passenger comfort, elevators to and from the new overhead footbridge for greater accessibility and a safer way to get to and from trains and a new lateral platform.
Track modifications are also being made for greater capacity and to improve speed allowing trains to bypass trains stopped at the station. These modifications, to be completed later this fall, together with other track improvements between Brockville and Oshawa, will mean faster travel through the busy Windsor - Quebec City corridor, fewer delays for current trips and allow for smoother train movement.
Funding for this $16M project came from the Government of Canada’s nearly $1B investment in VIA Rail since 2007 for improvements to its facilities, equipment and infrastructure, and included $3M from Canada’s Economic Action Plan.
Oshawa’s station was built in the 1960s and renovated about ten years ago. “The improvements we are celebrating today, made possible by funding from the Government of Canada, have created jobs, helped Canada’s economy, will provide real benefits for travelers in Oshawa,” said Mr. Paul. G. Smith, VIA Rail’s Chairman of the Board. “They will also align VIA for potential growth in ridership in the years to come.”