MONTREAL — VIA Rail Canada has announced that it is temporarily reducing frequencies in the Quebec City-Windsor corridor due to ongoing travel restrictions as a result of the omicron variant.
The reduced frequencies will take effect starting Jan. 19, 2022.
“These decisions, while difficult, are consistent with the balanced approach we have maintained throughout the pandemic in order to fulfill our important public service mandate while proactively managing the financial impacts on our operations,” said Cynthia Garneau, President and CEO of VIA Rail. “Every change we have made to our services has been, and continues to be, closely linked to the evolving health crisis and following market demand.”
The reduced corridor schedule, starting Jan. 19, is as follows:
|Montréal-Ottawa||51 (633) and 38|
|Québec City-Montréal-Ottawa||24/28 and 35/37|
|Toronto-Kingston-Montréal||62/64/68 and 63/67/69|
|Toronto-Kingston-Ottawa||51*(643)/53/59 and 52/42/54|
|Toronto-London-Windsor||72/76 and 73/75|
|Toronto-London-Sarnia||1 departure per day maintained in both directions (trains 87-84)|
* Some stops have been added on some trains. This information is subject to change without notice.
According to VIA Rail, this temporary service reduction has been carefully planned in order to continue to provide essential intercity service on all routes. There will be no reduction in frequencies for the moment on any other routes, but some onboard services have been modified.
VIA Rail Business class will be temporarily suspended, and Business lounges are closed until further notice. For a full list of changes to services go to VIA Rail’s website.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, VIA Rail has implemented various health and safety measures that include a mask policy, enhanced cleaning, mandatory vaccination policy and more. Since Oct. 30, 2021, passengers over 12 years and 4 months are required to be fully vaccinated to travel on VIA Rail trains as well as to access VIA Rail Business lounges.
VIA Rail is currently in its final phase of its gradual service resumption plan, which started in December 2021 with the return of the second frequency of the Ocean. Full operations across Canada is set to return by the end of June 2022.