Canada and British Columbia invest to refurbish the West Coast Express commuter train
Vancouver, British Columbia, March 17, 2021— The safety and well-being of Canadians are top priorities of the governments of Canada and British Columbia. Investments in public transit during this extraordinary time help support regional economies, and make our communities more inclusive and resilient.
Today, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Ron McKinnon, Member of Parliament for Coquitlam–Port Coquitlam, the Honourable Rob Fleming, British Columbia’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Honourable George Heyman, British Columbia’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, the Honourable Bowinn Ma, British Columbia’s Minister of State for Infrastructure, and Gigi Chen-Kuo, Interim CEO of TransLink, together announced funding for the refurbishment of seven West Coast Express locomotives.
The project includes refurbishing the engines of six of the seven locomotives to extend their lifespan by 15 years. In addition, all head end power units, which provide heat and lighting to the passenger cars, will be replaced to reduce emissions, improve energy efficiency, and allow operation of longer trains. To ensure there is no disruption in service, locomotives will be refurbished one at a time, with each locomotive tested, commissioned, and returned to service before work starts on the next locomotive.
The Government of Canada is investing $10.2 million in this project through the Public Transit Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of British Columbia is contributing $9.2 million and TransLink is contributing $1.5 million for this project.
“The West Coast Express is an important transit line for the people of BC. Federal funding will help to reduce, reuse and recycle by refurbishing older locomotives to give them a new lease on life. Cutting emissions from the transportation sector is vital to meeting Canada’s climate goals, and the Government of Canada’s support for cleaner, more climate-resilient rail options will play a significant role. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities.”
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“Investing in clean, reliable and comfortable public transit is an important part of our plan to create healthier communities here in the Lower Mainland and across the country. Today’s announcement is a great example of the type of strong collaboration that we need to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 in a way that achieves Canadians’ environmental goals and economic hopes.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“Public transit is a fundamental infrastructure that builds inclusive, connected and environmentally sustainable communities. These locomotive upgrades to the West Coast Express will ensure Tri-Cities residents here in the Greater Vancouver Area have access to safe, clean and reliable transit for years to come”
Ron McKinnon, Member of Parliament for Coquitlam–Port Coquitlam
“We’re committed to building B.C. back better by continuing to invest in transportation projects that create jobs, give people more options to get to where they need to go, and help get people out of their cars and on to public, low-carbon commuter trains.”
The Honourable Rob Fleming, British Columbia’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure
“Our government is committed to supporting cleaner public transportation for all British Columbians to use affordably and conveniently. The measures we’re announcing today will enhance and refurbish an important commuter route for people with increased energy efficiency, greater emissions reductions, new heating and lighting systems and an increased lifespan to provide reliable transportation years to come.”
The Honourable George Heyman, British Columbia’s Minister of Environment and Minister responsible for TransLink
“We know that investing in B.C.’s infrastructure is vital, especially when it means we’re investing in more socially and environmentally responsible transportation options for British Columbians. By working together with partners like the Government of Canada and investing in existing infrastructure like the West Coast Express, we can keep people moving while we build longer-term plans for transit in the lower mainland.”
The Honourable Bowinn Ma, British Columbia’s Minister of State for Infrastructure
““The West Coast Express has been moving thousands of Metro Vancouver transit users every weekday for over 25 years, and we are pleased to welcome this investment into the service’s future. Refurbishing our locomotive engines will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create a more reliable experience for our customers getting to and from work or school each day. Our current locomotive engines are nearing the end of their lifespan and this investment allows us to continue providing this important service for residents of Mission, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, and the Tri-Cities for years to come.”
Gigi Chen-Kuo, Interim CEO of TransLink
West Coast Express is a commuter rail service that runs 68 km between Mission and Vancouver, British Columbia. Prior to COVID-19, there were roughly 11,000 boardings on the West Coast Express every weekday.
Through the Investing in Canada Plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
The Government of Canada has invested $4.3 billion in 544 infrastructure projects across British Columbia under the Investing in Canada plan.
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