VIA Rail announces $80M investment in Heritage Stations

By Transport Action | Intercity Rail and Bus

Aug 24
Winnipeg Union Station seen from the street entrance

Between 2020 and 2025, VIA Rail will have invested over $80 million for the renovation of four of its Heritage Stations: Winnipeg Union Station, Vancouver Pacific Central Station, Halifax Station, and Gare du Palais in Québec City.

Mario Péloquin, VIA Rail’s President and Chief Executive Officer, and Françoise Bertrand, Chairperson of the Board of Directors, were at Winnipeg Union Station on August 24th, 2023, to formally announce these investments to protect VIA Rail’s Heritage Stations while upgrading these buildings and ensuring they reflect today’s standards, together with the Hon. Dan Vandal, Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface-Saint Vital and Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada.

“These iconic stations embody the history of railroading, and by extension the creation of Canada, which we have a responsibility to protect. 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.”

Mario Péloquin, VIA Rail President and Chief Executive Officer.

Transport Action Canada welcomes the investment in these stations as a sign of the government of Canada’s continued interest in a Canada-wide network of long-distance and regional passenger train services.

Winnipeg Union Station

VIA Rail has invested over $25 million in the renovation of Winnipeg Union Station, the nexus of its Western Canada operations, since 2020. These improvements will allow VIA Rail to continue to offer the best possible, safe, comfortable, accessible, and sustainable experience to passengers. This includes upgrades to Winnipeg’s passenger platforms, elevators and escalators upgrades. Once the work is complete at the end of the year, this will be the first fully accessible platform for VIA Rail’s our long-distance and regional routes.

All renovations to the station and train shed are being carried out with the guidance of Parks Canada, to respect the Heritage characteristics of the building, which was constructed in 1911. Winnipeg Station also achieved LEED gold certification in 2022, making it the second station in VIA Rail’s network to receive this environmental performance credential from the Canada Green Building Council.

“Our Winnipeg Union Station is a crucial point of our Western operations, 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.”

Françoise Bertrand, Chairperson of VIA Rail’s Board of Directors

“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.”

The Hon. Dan Vandal, Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface-Saint Vital and Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada

Photo: Winnipeg Union Station by Thom Quine

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