April 9, 2020


MONTRÉAL, April 9, 2020 – VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) has been informed that an employee of its Montréal call centre has tested positive for COVID-19 today. This employee had been working at home since March 16. He came to work for a short period of time on April 3 to get a new computer and rigorously respected physical distancing measures.

As the health and safety of our employees is our number one priority, we immediately took the appropriate measures:

  1. We have informed employees, that might have been in direct or indirect contact with their colleague, of the situation and we will remain in communication with them in the coming days. So far, none have shown any symptoms.
  2. In the last few weeks, we have deployed measures to ensure physical distancing in our stations and on board our trains to better protect our employees and our passengers.
  3. In our call centres in particular:
    • Staffing is at the minimum required level. 
    • Everyone who can work from home does so. 
    • Employees have been assigned a specific workstation. No sharing is allowed. 
    • There is a hygiene protocol to follow:  
      • Hand-washing upon arrival at work and every time someone enters the call centre; 
      • Cleaning of the workstation at the beginning and at the end of the shift;
      • Spraying solutions and wipes are provided;
      •  All group meetings and in-person training are cancelled. When necessary, meetings are held through conference calls, Skype or Teams. 
      • Individual coaching/ meetings are done respecting the two-meter distance and only when it is absolutely necessary 
    • Employees are encouraged to eat at their workstation.
    • Employees are advised not to visit the call centre if they are not working. 


  1. In accordance with the guidelines from the Public Health Agency of Canada, we conduct strict and regular cleaning on board our trains, in our stations and in our call centres and our hygiene protocols include the use of cleaning products approved by Health Canada that have proven to be effective against COVID-19.


We remain in close communication with our employee and are providing all the support he needs to recover in the best possible conditions. Our thoughts are with him and his family during this difficult time.


VIA Rail is adjusting its operations and deploying a strict protocol of sanitary measures on board its trains, in its stations, maintenance centres and call centres in response to the pandemic and in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Furthermore, we constantly remind our passengers and employees of the importance of following the recommendations of the public health authorities, to stay at home, avoid non-essential travel, practice physical distancing as much as possible, and to rigorously follow good hygiene practices (to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, to cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of their arm, and to avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth without first washing their hands).

We continue to monitor the developments of COVID-19 and we remain in close contact with public health agencies and the federal and provincial governments. 

The most recent updates are available on our website

About VIA Rail

As Canada’s national rail passenger service, VIA Rail (viarail.ca) and all its employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada, and about 180 more communities through intermodal partnerships, and safely transported over 5 million passengers in 2019. The Corporation has been awarded five Safety Awards and three Environment Awards by the Railway Association of Canada since 2007. Visit the “About VIA Rail” section at https://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail.