VIA Rail Canada plans $80 million to renovate heritage stations

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CaDCR staff writer

By 2025, VIA Rail says it will spend $80 million to renovate four Heritage stations: Winnipeg Union Station, Vancouver Pacific Station, Halifax Station, and Gare du Palais in Québec City.

“These iconic stations embody the history of railroading, and by extension the creation of Canada, which we have a responsibility to protect,” said Mario Péloquin, President and Chief Executive Officer. “With this announcement we are ensuring that VIA can continue to maintain these landmark buildings and that we improve the customer experience by making these stations more accessible and sustainable for future generations to enjoy.”

The Winnipeg Union Station project has an estimated cost of more than $25 million.

“Our Winnipeg Union Station is a crucial point of our Western operations,” said Françoise Bertrand, Chairperson of VIA Rail’s Board of Directors. “It plays an important role in our ability to deliver our mandate as it is part of the lifeline service to communities in Northern Manitoba and gives access to the iconic Canadian that travels between Vancouver and Toronto.”

Since 2020, VIA has upgraded interior passenger platforms and created a more accessible experience with the elevators and escalators upgrades and exterior passenger platform replacement, which will be the first fully accessible platform on our long-distance and regional routes once completed at the end of the year.

All renovations to the station and train shed are being done within the guidelines of Parks Canada to respect the Heritage characteristics of the 1911 building. The Winnipeg Station also achieved LEED gold certification in 2022, making it the second station in our network to have received this Canada Green Building Council credential.

“Union Station is a beautiful historical site right in the heart of our city’s downtown. With this investment of over $25 million, VIA Rail is making good on its commitment to regional connectivity and continues to offer riders the safe, comfortable, accessible trip they’ve come to expect,” said Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and MP for Saint Boniface-Saint Vital.

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