Background: VIA Rail’s Federal Infrastructure Initiative

July 31, 2015

VIA Rail Canada background information press release:


As part of the $5.8 billion in infrastructure spending announced by Prime Minister Harper, $102 million new funding will go to VIA Rail for several projects to improve the safety and efficiency of the Ottawa-Montreal corridor.The investment will be made over two fiscal years (2015-16 and 2016-17). Projects to be funded include:

  • Enable the Renaissance car fleet for use on the Ottawa-Montreal line and thus, provide customers with a consistent level of service west of Montreal while replacing older equipment. This fleet will also enhance the accessibility service for travelers in wheelchairs and/or with service animals‎.
  • Upgrade tracks and bridges between Montreal and the Ottawa area.
  • Build new track siding and make changes to the turnout to allow more fluid movement of trains in the Barrhaven area (Ottawa).
  • Repair Alexandria piers and abutments to avoid the risk of compromising the structural capacity of the bridge and to ensure the safe passage of freight and passenger trains.
  • Upgrade centralized traffic control signals to improve the efficiency and safety of operations.
  • Upgrade signal systems to improve reliability, efficiency and safety of operations.
  • Repair Ottawa Station infrastructure (main electrical power supply and distribution), and build high level platforms to improve customer safety, travel experience, and accessibility, as well as eliminate some delays.
  • Repair rail bridges in the Ottawa area.
  • Replace culverts between Ottawa and Montreal to ensure structural integrity.
  • Change/upgrade mechanical & electrical systems at the Ottawa Station to safely keep the trains ready to go without having to run a generator.
  • Replace bolted rail with continuous welded rail in the Beachburg, Alexandria and Smith Falls subdivisions and other track upgrades within the city limits of Ottawa.

July 2015


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