VIA Rail To Upgrade 17 Trains To Feature Fully Accessible Cars
Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw
VIA Rail Canada has announced it will renovate 17 train cars to make them fully accessible.
Built in the 1950s, these newly renovated trains, once complete, will represent a new generation of fully accessible cars, and will “elevate the standards of accessibility in Canada,” according to a statement from the company.
Each reconfigured car will be equipped with:
Two wheelchair lifts;
Two accessible spaces with anchoring devices;
Announcement display screens, including in the washrooms;
An accessible washroom.
The work will also include the installation of Wi-Fi devices, improved interior design and mechanical upgrading of heating systems and various electrical components.
The program is scheduled to be completed in 2020. The 17 renovated cars will be deployed over VIA Rail's long-haul routes.
"Thanks to the federal government funding received by VIA Rail, we are ensuring that we remain the most accessible intercity transportation service in Canada by offering universal accessibility based on the highest standards,” said Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, president and CEO, VIA Rail.
“This investment is in addition to the funding granted for the acquisition of a new fleet in the Quebec City-Windsor corridor, and is part of VIA Rail's transformation plan aimed at creating a more sustainable future for Canadians. Rebuilding these train cars to make them fully accessible is part of our ongoing commitment to offer universal accessibility on board our trains."
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.