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 June 07, 2002
VIA Rail Renovates Kingston, Ontario Station

 VIA Rail Canada officially opened VIA?s renovated Kingston station June 7, following a $2 million project to modernize facilities for the growing number of passengers using the station. On hand at the press conference to mark the event were Transport Minister David Collenette, Peter Milliken, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands, and VIA Rail Chairman Jean Pelletier. "The Government of Canada is committed to the revitalization of passenger rail in Canada," said Mr. Collenette. "As a key component of VIA?s Renaissance program and the $402 million federal investment in passenger rail, the renovations reflect VIA?s long-term commitment to bring more services, better equipment and faster trains to the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal triangle".

Noting Kingston?s strategic location in the region, Mr. Collenette said that "hundreds of thousands of travellers pass through this train station each year, and the number is growing. There is a renaissance in passenger rail well under way right across this country, and Kingston is part of that renaissance."

Mr. Milliken said "I am delighted to see how VIA Rail is rising to the challenge of building a modern, efficient rail service. This revitalized rail station will be a valuable asset to the community, providing a valuable service to the people who live and work here, for many years to come."

Improvements to the station include expansions and upgrades to the inside waiting room and the passenger waiting area on the south boarding platform, the addition of escalators at both ends of the passenger tunnel, a new lounge for VIA 1 passengers and an additional ticket counter for improved service during peak hours.

"We are working to meet the growing demand for passenger rail," VIA?s Jean Pelletier said. "And we have transformed this station into a truly modern passenger facility ? a facility that makes train travel throughout Eastern Ontario, and beyond, a more convenient, attractive option than ever before."

Kingston Mayor Isabel Turner commented that "good transportation links are important to any community, but they are especially vital for Kingston - a city where people live, work, and attend school - as part of a of a growing economic and industrial corridor reaching right across the province. While Kingston conveniently connects with other popular centres, the city itself is an exciting destination offering a variety of activities and opportunities for many."