A $120-million revitalization project for the Outremont rail yards was announced today, with half the project funded by the city, and the other $60 million kicked in from Quebec and Ottawa.

The project would include a Universite de Montreal campus, 1,000 residential units - 30 per cent of which would be low-cost housing - and a train link to Acadie metro station.

The rail yards, which sit at the northern border of Outremont borough, were built on vacant farmland in the late 1800s and were dismantled in 2006. The 185,000 square-metre site is owned by the Universite de Montreal.

Though commuter trains run along the tracks bordering the northern edge of the yard, the site is essentially abandoned. The project would revitalize the urban space, said Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay.

"Montreal is a metropolis of knowledge, innovation and creativity and the best way to do it is to permit the University of Montreal to have access to better facilities, so it's very important," said Tremblay.

The Government of Canada, which has earmarked $30 million for the project, said the project will have a positive economic impact on the area.

"Our investment in this great project will give the Universite de Montreal extra space for new, suitable facilities for teaching and research, and it will create jobs and support the local economy in the short-, medium- and long- term," said Public Works Minister Christian Paradis in a press statement.

The initiative includes dismantling the rail yards, decontaminating the land, rebuilding the rail corridor and building a railway overpass, as well as creating a tunnel to link with the Acadie station. Drinking water, sewer and road infrastructure will also be implemented.

The land is slated to be decontaminated by 2012 and new campus buildings are set for construction by 2015.