Via Rail train service resumes after crash near Gananoque

Via Rail train service has resumed on the Toronto to Montreal and Toronto to Ottawa routes.

Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa routes back to normal after 4,100 passengers affected by Friday collision

Via Rail spokesperson Mylène Bélanger said 16 trains were cancelled after the crash, affecting 4,100 passengers. Train service is expected to resume Saturday. (OPP East/Twitter)

Via Rail train service has resumed today on the Toronto to Montreal and Toronto to Ottawa routes.

The service was shut down Friday afternoon after a CN freight car crashed into a passenger Via Rail train near Gananoque, Ont., stopping train service between Toronto and Montreal just ahead of the long weekend. Service was also cancelled between Ottawa and Toronto.

Via says the freight train struck the passenger train's locomotive and a few cars, about seven kilometres from Gananoque.

It said the train was travelling from Ottawa to Toronto with about 300 people on board.

One passenger reported a minor injury and buses replaced train service on the two routes for the rest of Friday.

A derailed CN freight car crashed into a Via Rail passenger train east of Gananoque. (CP)
The two CN employees on the train were not injured, according to CN director of public affairs Jim Feeny.

Via service resumed by around 11 a.m. ET but the rail service said on its Facebook page major delays are still expected:

  • Train 61 (6:45 a.m.) will be joined to Train 63 and leave at 10:10 a.m.
  • Train 641 (6:40 a.m.) will be joined to Train 643 and leave at 9 a.m.
  • Train 50 (6:40 a.m.) will be joined to Train 52 and leave at 9:25 a.m.
  • Train 60 (6:40 a.m.) will be joined to Train 62 and leave at 9:25 a.m.

Passengers requesting refunds for the weekend will have up to one week to claim it.

Via Rail spokeswoman Mylène Bélanger said 16 trains were cancelled after Friday's crash, affecting 4,100 passengers.

Via's contingency plan also didn't work because most buses were already booked for the long weekend.

Meanwhile, CN spokesman Jim Feeny said the six train cars derailed on Friday were moved off the track for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada investigation.

That investigation wrapped up the on-scene portion on Saturday, but officials took parts of two rail cars back to the lab in Ottawa for more analysis.

Also, Feeny said both the north and south CN tracks were back in order by 6 a.m. ET Saturday. CN trains are operating at a reduced speed in that incident zone.

On July 10, a 26-car CN freight train derailed in Brockville, Ont., forcing Via Rail to cancel train service between Toronto and Ottawa for two days. Train service between Toronto and Montreal was cancelled for one-and-a-half days.

A Via Rail train was involved in a collision with a derailed CN train near Gananoque, Ont., on Friday, halting train service between Ottawa and Toronto and Toronto and Montreal. (CBC)

With files from Canadian Press