VIA Rail has completed a $6.9 million project to restore the train station in Vancouver, paying strict attention to preserving the heritage features of the building, which was built in 1919. First, the platform canopies and lighting were improved alongside the tracks where the trains arrive and depart, and station columns were repaired. This work was finished in 2010. Then a full restoration of the Vancouver Station building was undertaken. From top to bottom, the exterior masonry of the building was repointed and cleaned, the roof rebuilt, the exterior windows and doors restored or replaced and the iconic “Pacific Central” sign on the roof stabilized as well as security improvements made. This second phase was recently completed.
Designated a Heritage Rail Station by the Government of Canada in 1991, Vancouver Station was named Pacific Central Station in 1993, when VIA began operating the facility as an integrated intermodal terminal serving Amtrak trains from Seattle and intercity bus services, as well as VIA’s passenger trains.
“We continue to transform passenger rail in Canada with new stations, tracks, trains and technology,” said David Hoff of VIA Rail. “We remain focused on what counts: responding to markets and the needs of our customers in the most efficient way possible.”
Funding for the $6.9 million restoration includes $2.3 million from the stimulus phase of the Economic Action Plan as part of a total investment of $923 million by the Government of Canada to VIA Rail to improve passenger rail services. It is among many other projects across the country to upgrade facilities, stations, equipment and infrastructure for the benefit of passengers. This includes improvements being made to the locomotives and passenger cars used on VIA’s western transcontinental service, which makes an important contribution to VIA’s success and Canada’s tourism industry.