(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 beginning Friday, trains will actually stop at the facility as part of a VIA Rail Safety Train program and Education Expo.
Students in grades 5 and 6 will ride the train from the VIA Rail station on Walker Road from May 23 to May 25. 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 the 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 19 to May 28. Hours of operation can be found under the Events tab at the Memorial Cup website.
Approximately 2,350 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, the 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 who 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 1980-81, the last time the CHL Championship was held in Windsor.
Boimistruck, selected 43rd overall 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 23.