AECOM is providing engineering services to upgrade passenger service of Via Rail’s between Montreal and Toronto (Quebec City Windsor corridor). Part of an overall CA$350 million (US$ 349 million project, the upgrade is designed to increase passenger train speed and frequency and reduce delays resulting from freight rail traffic on the route, which is the busiest freight and passenger corridor in Canada.
AECOM’s efforts on the project include renovations on the Oshawa and Coburg stations and new stations at Smith Falls and Belleville. Work on the Oshawa and Coburg stations includes such improvements as new heated platforms, new elevators, and new overhead foot bridges. The tracks at the two stations are being modified to accommodate the improvements.
New stations will be designed and constructed to replace older ones at Smith Falls and Bellevile. At Smith Falls the new station is fully-accessible with easy passenger access and ample parking. The new station location reduces the scheduling conflicts between Via passenger and Canadian Pacific freight trains which occurred at the site of the old station. In Belleville – one of Canada’s top 15 stations in terms of passenger volumes today – a new station will feature an island boarding platform similar to the one in Oshawa. The old station, which dates back to 1856, will be preserved and developed for other uses.
The track infrastructure will also be improved with new signaling and traffic controls and the addition of 41 miles of a third mainline track built in three separate segments along the corridor. Another part of the project, new passing sidings – tracks along the main line that can hold trains while another passes in the opposite direction – are expected to reduce the passenger trip by 30 minutes, allowing for Via to add two more trains to the six trains that are already part of the daily scheduled service between the two cities. The project began in 2009 and is scheduled for completion in 2012.