Feds announce $20M plan to renovate Ottawa train station

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The federal government said Thursday it will spend $20 million to install a new elevated and heated passenger platform at the Ottawa train station and make trains more accessible to passengers in wheelchairs.

The first phase of the multi-year project is slated to be completed by the fall of 2017. It will add a 136-metre-long elevated platform as well as elevators to provide access to the station’s tunnel and boarding platforms. An additional $1.7 million will go toward roof renovations and other improvements.

“Once the renovations are complete, our facilities will be more accessible and mobility within the station as well as boarding and disembarking from our trains will be easier for everyone,” VIA Rail CEO Yves Desjardins-Siciliano said in a statement.

VIA also announced it is adding two new afternoon departures – one each way between Ottawa and Toronto – to boost the number of weekday trips between the cities to nine on weekdays. The new schedule will start Nov. 1.

“The Ottawa train station is at the heart of our future dedicated tracks project, which will draw more passengers with increased train frequencies, shorter travel times and more convenient and reliable schedules,” Mr. Desjardins-Siciliano said.

Opened in 1966, the Tremblay Road station now serves more than 800,000 passengers a year. It was designated a heritage building in 1996 and was named one of the top 500 buildings in Canada by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 2000.