About the CIP
The Capital Investment Projects:
The biggest investment in VIA’s history
The transformation started in 2007, when the Government of Canada announced a five-year, $516 million investment to strengthen passenger rail services. Another $407 million was added in 2009 through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Government’s economic stimulus program. It adds up to $923 million – the biggest capital investment in VIA Rail’s history.
Transforming Passenger Rail
We’re laying down new track, revamping our locomotives and passenger cars, and renovating train stations. We’re even building a few new stations as well!
VIA is making sure that every dollar we spend gets a result that counts. You’ll notice changes like:
-safer and faster intercity travel, with more trains and connections every day
-equipment and facilities that give you a more relaxing ride and let you travel in comfort and style
-more reliable services across the board
…and services that are more environmentally friendly than ever before.
Expanding capacity in the Corridor
We are expanding and improving track and infrastructure in the Ontario - Quebec corridor, particularly in the Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto triangle where the demand for service is highest. This means upgrading track to carry faster trains, building more “passing” track so we can pass slower freight trains with fewer delays, and adding sections of third track along major parts of the Montreal-Toronto line to completely separate passenger and freight traffic. When the work is complete, we will have the capacity to serve an estimated 650,000 additional passengers per year.
More trains, more options
As track improvements are completed in the Corridor, we are adding more trains, offering faster service between destinations, with more frequent services every day.
For example, we plan to reduce the average trip time between Montreal and Toronto, and add more weekday trains – including new express and semi-express services.
We’ll double the number of trains between Ottawa and Toronto, add new express services, and reduce the average trip time.
We’ll also be adding new express trains between Montreal and Ottawa.
Rebuilding our trains
We are renewing the equipment we use across the network, from Halifax to Vancouver. Locomotives and passenger cars – most of them in service now for more than 20 years – are being renovated or stripped down and rebuilt from the ground up. The result is better-than-new equipment that delivers more accessible, efficient, and reliable service, and of course, a more comfortable ride.
The “green” travel option
Passenger rail is the most environmentally friendly public transportation available, and we are making it better. New technologies used in rebuilding our locomotives will ensure that they meet current environmental standards for emissions, and improve fuel efficiency. Many of our passenger cars are going to be more environmentally-friendly as well – new designs will be more efficient in terms of heating, cooling and ventilation systems and will be equipped with other upgrades that reduce power consumption. Completed equipment already in service has shown exceptional results – reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions even more than expected.
We are upgrading and modernizing more than 50 of our passenger stations in communities across the country. That includes interior and exterior renovations, new roofs, better boarding platforms, more efficient building systems and improved signage. In some cases, it means building completely new stations to meet today’s operational requirements and customer needs.
A portion of this funding is also upgrading systems behind the scenes, like new, more efficient technology supporting ticketing and customer services.
Traveling in comfort
When you arrive at our stations, you will find improved facilities: more comfortable lounges, more efficient ticketing and boarding, a more relaxed and welcoming environment. You will get on trains that are modern, clean and spacious, with interiors and facilities designed to make your journey a great experience. With better equipment, service will be more reliable – and you will get to your destination faster than ever.
More accessible travel
As we upgrade our equipment, we are building in features to make travel more convenient and comfortable for people with restricted mobility. These include enhanced sleeping accommodations on the eastern and western transcontinental services, along with larger washroom facilities, improved tie-down areas for those with wheel-chairs, and accommodation for service animals. All of our trains in the Ontario - Quebec Corridor will have washrooms, seating and facilities designed to enhance accessibility. We are also making the equipment we use for service in remote and northern communities more accessible.
The safest passenger service
We are committed to providing the safest passenger service in Canada. All of our capital projects make the safety of our customers, and the communities we service, a top priority – from the design of our stations, to improved computerized traffic control and signalling, to upgrading track for safe operations at higher speeds.
As we upgrade track and infrastructure, we are taking measures to improve safety by installing new security fencing at key locations, improving rail-road crossings and, wherever possible, eliminating at-grade intersections between rail lines and roads.
The Bottom Line? Better Service, Better Value
The Capital Investment Projects are transforming virtually every aspect of VIA’s passenger rail service in Canada. Each project is making a difference that matters – delivering better service and more value to our customers, and to Canada.
AT A GLANCE:
(and other projects)
|Economic Action Plan||$254.2||$102.8||$50|