MONTREAL — VIA Rail Canada has announced it will scale back service, starting March 23, in response to COVID-19.
Certain routes will be suspended, baggage service will no longer be available and business lounges will be closed starting next week. In addition, restaurants in VIA-owned stations will be shuttered and customers will only have access to vending machines where available.
The rail line says it will implement flexible seat selection to allow passengers to travel in a more comfortable manner to follow social distancing guidelines.
“These new measures we are announcing today are difficult, but the current situation is exceptional and calls for an exceptional response,” says Cynthia Garneau, president and chief executive officer of VIA Rail. “Protecting the health and safety of our passengers and employees continues to be our focus so we are adjusting our operations to ensure we minimize the propagation of COVID-19 when travelling with VIA Rail. As a public service, we do what we can to maintain some of our services in the best possible conditions for as long as possible to help facilitate travel along the Corridor and on regional routes.”
Services starting March 23, 2020 are as follows:
|Québec City-Montréal-Ottawa||22*/28* and 33/39*|
|Montréal-Ottawa-Fallowfield||33/39* and 22*/28|
|Toronto-Kingston-Montréal||64/68* and 63*/669*|
|Toronto-Kingston- Ottawa||643*/59 and 52*/48|
|Toronto- London-Windsor||72*/78 and 71/75|
|Toronto-London- Sarnia||1 departure per day maintained in both directions (trains 87-84)|
|Senneterre-Jonquière||One round trip per week|
|Sudbury-White River||One round trip per week|
|Winnipeg-Churchill||All trains are operating|
|The Ocean (Montréal-Halifax)||
Suspended until May 1st
|The Canadian (Toronto-Vancouver)|
|Prince Rupert-Prince George-Jasper|
* Some stops have been added on some trains. This information is subject to change without notice.
VIA has extended its cancellation policy to include all travel through May 31, 2020. Passengers can cancel or modify their reservations at any time prior to departure and receive a full refund in addition to not incurring any service charges, regardless of when they purchased their ticket. This includes all travel up to and including May 31, 2020, as well as any travel after May 31, 2020, if their outbound train is on or before May 31, 2020.
For more information go to viarail.ca.