$20M for West Island train improvements

The province will spend millions over the next two years on updates that will reduce delays and allow for more commuter trains on the schedule to the West Island.

Dedicated line still a possibility

Politicians and officials were on hand in Beaconsfield Thursday morning to announce the improvements to the west island commuter line. (Steve Rukavina/CBC)

The province is spending nearly $20 million over two years to speed up train service to and from the West Island.

The improvements, announced in Beaconsfield Thursday, will be focused on switching and signaling equipment.

The money will go towards automating that equipment so AMT trains can be quickly diverted around freight or Via Rail tie-ups.

The idea is to reduce delays and allow the AMT to add six more trains per day to the Vaudreuil-Hudson line when the work is complete in a few years.

The improvements are only a temporary fix, however.  According to some politicians, creating a dedicated West Island commuter line is the only permanent solution to keep trains on time on busy tracks.

Last year, the government launched a study examining that possibility. Results are expected later this year.

MNA Geoff Kelley of the West Island Jacques-Cartier riding said, as far as he is concerned, the dedicated rail line is a done deal.

But, he couldn’t offer a timeline on when it would become a reality.