More upgrades approved for the VIA train station in Sarnia is a sign of good things to come, says an organization pushing for improved passenger service.
“One doesn’t prepare for company if company’s not coming,” said Mabel Higgins, of Rail Advocacy in Lambton, or RAIL.
“VIA Rail and our federal government must have plans to bring passengers to our heritage train station, otherwise this would be ill-spent.”
The Transport Ministry announced $2.55 million last week for stations in Sarnia and London.
Sarnia’s station is getting roof repairs, upgraded washrooms and additional work on masonry and doors. Wayside power panels are also being relocated.
Last September, VIA began addressing some of the building’s structural problems, including its roof and Victorian brickwork that has eroded over the years.
The new money is part of the federal government’s infrastructure initiative.
While welcoming the announcement, Higgins said RAIL would like more of the transportation budget spent on easing the bottlenecking of passenger and freight trains on the Sarnia to Toronto line.
The station was built in 1891 by the Grand Trunk Railway and is listed on the registry of Canadian historic places.
Known as the “Tunnel Station,” it served as the terminus and depot of the St. Clair River Tunnel, the world’s first international underwater train tunnel.