June 25, 2014

VIA Rail Will Only Resume Service Between Gillam and Churchill Once All Safety Requirements Are Met

Winnipeg, June 25, 2014 ‎– VIA Rail Canada (viarail.ca) will conduct a thorough safety assessment on the Hechmer subdivision when the line between Gillam and Churchill is declared open by OmniTRAX, the owners of the railway line in Northern Manitoba. The Corporation intends to resume its passenger train service once its rigorous safety requirements have been met, in order to ensure the safety of all of VIA Rail’s passengers and employees. It is working with the track owners to safely resume the passenger service to Churchill.

Following the safety inspections completed last week, VIA Rail concluded that certain conditions would have to be met prior to resuming its passenger train service. All freight and passenger train services are currently suspended by OmniTRAX which closed the line between Churchill and Gillam.

“The safety of VIA Rail’s passengers and employees is our first and foremost priority”, stated VIA Rail’s Chief Operating Officer, Denis Pinsonneault. “We will resume the service between Gillam and Churchill once OmniTRAX has demonstrated that all our safety requirements have been met and that the track is once again deemed safe for passenger train operations.”

Passenger train service continues to be offered between Winnipeg and Gillam according to the normal schedule. Going south, departures of train #692 from Gillam are scheduled on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Wednesday departures of train #692 operate between Gillam and The Pas. Going north, Sunday and Tuesday departures of train #693 operate between Winnipeg and Gillam. Friday departures operate between The Pas and Gillam. No alternate transportation between Gillam and Churchill is being offered.

VIA Rail thanks its customers for their understanding, and apologizes for any inconvenience caused by the suspension of service, which is beyond its control. The Corporation shall communicate further developments on an ongoing basis. Updates will be published on VIA Rail’s website at viarail.ca and can be obtained by contacting 1 888 VIA-RAIL (842-7245), 1 800 268-9503 (hearing impaired).

About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada's (viarail.ca) and its 2,500 employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking 450 communities across its 12,500-kilometre route network, and safely transports nearly four million passengers annually. The Corporation was awarded seven Safety Awards by the Railway Association of Canada over the last eight years, and is recipient of the 2012 Agent's Choice Award voted by Canadian travel agents and presented by Baxter Travel Media. Since 2007, the Government of Canada has invested almost a billion dollars in VIA Rail. Follow the progress of our transformation at viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail/capital-investment.

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