(Windsor, ON) – For years VIA Rail trains have passed by the WFCU Centre multiple times a day.
When the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup is staged in Windsor trains will actually stop at the facility, part of a VIA Rail Safety Train program and Education Expo announced at a news conference held earlier today.
Students in grades 5 and 6 will ride the train from the VIA Rail station on Walker Road from May 23rd to May 25th. They’ll learn the importance of rail safety during their journey before disembarking onto a specially built platform at the WFCU Centre.
Students will tour 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup displays in the Community Rinks including Military Zones, CHL Education program and Hockey Hall of Fame displays. They will also demonstrate their hockey skills in the Mopar Family Zone.
The general public can tour these same exhibits for free May 19th to May 28th. Hours of operation can be found under the Events tab at www.mastercardmemorialcup.ca.
Approximately 2350 students from Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board, Greater Essex County District School Board and Counseil Scolair Catholique de Providence will participate in the program.
These same students, representing 41 different schools, participated in the CHL Team Draft earlier this year and were partnered with a team from the QMJHL, OHL or WHL. Research was done by each class on their drafted team including geography, history, military significance, economy, hockey history, famous people, fun facts etc. The 62 subsequent projects will be on display in the CHL Expo Fan Zone at the WFCU Centre.
As well, every student from the class that drafted the competing teams — Windsor Spitfires, Saint John Sea Dogs, Erie Otters and Seattle Thunderbirds — will receive two free tickets to the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup.
The Locomotive Engineer that will be driving the VIA Rail Safety Train is no stranger to hockey. Fred Boimistruck won back-to-back Memorial Cups with the Cornwall Royals including in 1980-81, the last time the CHL Championship was held in Windsor.
Mr.Boimistruck, selected 43rdoverall in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft, has worked with Via Rail since 2000.
The first VIA Rail Safety Train leaves at 9:30am on Tuesday May 23rd.
For more information on the VIA Rail Safety Train program and Education Expo please contact Dan Laporte, 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup Host Organizing Committee School Initiatives Lead: Dan_Laporte@wecdsb.on.ca or 519-946-0260.