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 May 22, 2002
VIA Rail Completes $1.5 Million Renovation Of Moncton Train Station

 Transport Minister David Collenette, joined by Labour Minister Claudette Bradshaw, and VIA Chairman Jean Pelletier officially opened the renovated Moncton passenger rail station May 22, following the completion of a $1.5 million project to upgrade and modernize the downtown facility. The renovations included the consolidation of VIA?s Moncton Telephone Sales operations, which are responsible for all U.S., travel agency, and Internet ticket sales. ?The federal government is committed to the revitalization of passenger rail in Canada,? said Mr. Collenette. ?The station project is part of the federal government?s $402 million capital investment in passenger rail. Passenger rail across Canada has enjoyed significant growth in ridership and revenues in recent years. This capital investment will provide VIA Rail with the modern equipment, tracks, signalling, and facilities it needs to meet the growing demand, while ensuring safe, efficient operations.?

?With this revitalized station, Moncton is very much a part of a national renaissance of passenger rail,? Mr. Collenette said. ?It is now home to one of the largest telephone sales offices for Canada?s national passenger rail service - drawing on the skills and industry that New Brunswick has nurtured over the past decade.?

Ms Bradshaw, who is Member of Parliament for Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe, said that ?the station has been transformed, and the transformation is a dramatic improvement. This is truly a modern, attractive passenger facility, and it will contribute directly to the vitality of the downtown area.?

?It is especially gratifying to see my home town playing a part in the renaissance of passenger rail?, Ms Bradshaw added. ?I am proud that Moncton is continuing its historic role in Canada?s national passenger rail service.?

VIA completed the first phase of the Moncton station renovation project last October, consolidating its Telephone Sales Office operations in an adjacent building. The second phase began last November, integrating that building with the existing station, and modernizing passenger facilities. Improvements to this fully accessible station include the installation of a modern air-conditioning system, an expanded and renovated waiting room, new ticket counters, and mechanized baggage handling. Washroom facilities have also been modernized and expanded, including the construction of a dedicated washroom for persons with disabilities.

At the news conference, VIA Chairman Jean Pelletier said, ?VIA will now present the new face of passenger rail to our Moncton customers with modern, convenient passenger facilities that are designed to make train travel a rewarding experience from the moment passengers walk through the doors.?

The exterior of the station was completely redesigned, including an impressive central tower and bold, new signage. In addition, new and enhanced entrances and exits offer improved passenger flow to and from the trains. Renovations were carried out in partnership with the property owner, Atlantic Shopping Centres Limited.

VIA Rail Canada operates Canada's national passenger rail network. With more than 480 trains operating weekly on 14,000 kilometres of track, it connects more than 450 Canadian communities from coast-to-coast. VIA trains carried almost four million passengers in 2001.