Via rail reducing service amid COVID-19 pandemic
Montreal-Halifax, Toronto-Vancouver routes suspended until May 1
Via Rail has announced it is halting some routes, as well as extending some previous cancellations, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Three routes — Montreal to Halifax (the Ocean), Toronto to Vancouver (the Canadian), and the Jasper-Prince George-Prince Rupert line — will all be suspended until May 1. The routes were previously suspended, but the rail service announced Thursday that the cancellations are being extended for more than another month.
Meanwhile, regional service between Montreal-Senneterre and Montreal-Jonquière in Quebec, and Sudbury-White River in northern Ontario will be reduced to one round trip per week, starting March 23.
"These new measures we are announcing today are difficult, but the current situation is exceptional and calls for an exceptional response," said Cynthia Garneau, Via Rail's president and CEO.
Other on-board and in-station services, like baggage service and restaurant access, will be reduced or fully removed. Via also warned that ramped up cleaning protocols, in place since March 17, could add to trip delays and late departures on trains throughout the country.
Via Rail also further said it is extending its cancellation policy to include all travel through to May 31, which will allow passengers to modify their travel at any time before their planned departure, or to cancel for a full refund without service charges.
- An earlier version of this story, citing a Via Rail press release, said service between Seneterre-Jonquière had been reduced to one trip per week. In fact, service between Montreal-Seneterre and Montreal-Jonquière was reduced. There is no direct service between Seneterre and Jonquière.Mar 19, 2020 7:30 PM ET