April 12, 2021
VIA RAIL ANNOUNCES RESUMPTION OF THE TORONTO–WINNIPEG PORTION OF THE CANADIAN
MONTRÉAL, April 12, 2021 – VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) announces that it will be providing additional essential intercity transportation options by resuming the Toronto to Winnipeg portion of the Canadian which will enable one full round-trip per week starting May 17, 2021.
|Vancouver-Toronto||One weekly full trip starting May 17|
|Toronto-Vancouver||One weekly full trip starting May 23|
The resumption was made possible following a thorough evaluation of VIA Rail’s health and safety protocols, including physical distancing measures, enhanced air ventilation system, and improved measures for passenger access and the protection of its employees. More details regarding health and safety measures as well as the modified services offered on board the Canadian are available on VIA Rail’s website.
“Over the past year, we have continuously sought to find a balance between offering to the best of our abilities essential travel options while following the guidelines and recommendations from public health authorities, as well as federal and provincial governments. With health and safety at the heart of our actions, the resumption of one full weekly round-trip service on the Canadian allows us to continue to provide an essential service to Canadians needing to travel on this route,” said Cynthia Garneau, President and CEO.
VIA Rail continues to deploy a strict protocol of sanitary measures on board its trains, in its stations, maintenance centres, call centres and offices to deal with the pandemic and minimize the spread of COVID-19. Teams across the organization also continue to apply the latest health and safety guidelines and are evaluating VIA Rail’s overall service offering in the context of the pandemic. Fully aware that there is currently an increase in COVID-19 cases, in the event of major changes related to the health crisis by the set resumption dates, VIA Rail will revise its service offering in line with the latest developments.
The Corporation will continue to work on a safe resumption plan, collaborating with public health authorities, as well as the federal and provincial governments to ensure this occurs as soon as conditions permit. This plan will be shared once finalized.
All passengers with reservations affected by this resumption of service will be contacted and reimbursed automatically. To facilitate cancellations and refunds, VIA Rail has extended its cancellation policy to include all travel through September 15, 2021, to allow passengers to cancel their upcoming reservations autonomously online at any time prior to departure and receive a full refund in addition to not incurring any service charges, regardless of when the ticket was purchased.
Alternatively, customers may contact the VIA Customer Centre by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-888-VIA-RAIL (1-888-842-7245), TTY 1-800-268-9503 (hearing impaired). Due to the current situation related to COVID-19, the VIA Customer Centre is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time, seven days a week, and it may take some time to speak with an agent due to a reduction in staff.
Wearing a mask is required at all times in VIA Rail’s stations and on board VIA Rail trains. For the health and safety of all passengers and employees, passengers who do not wear a mask during their trip will be required to disembark the train or will be refused entry upon boarding.
Wearing a mask over the nose and mouth is one more way to protect one another and will help VIA Rail safeguard the travel experience of its passengers and employees. Throughout the pandemic, when VIA Rail has ramped up service levels in the Québec City-Windsor corridor, all enhanced health safety measures introduced during the pandemic have been maintained, including enhanced cleaning, pre-boarding screening of travellers, modified onboard services.
Furthermore, VIA Rail constantly reminds its passengers and employees of the importance of following the recommendations of public health authorities, to avoid non-essential travel, practice physical distancing as much as possible, and to rigorously follow good hygiene practices (wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of the arm, avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth without first washing their hands).
Passengers will be denied boarding trains if they are experiencing symptoms similar to a cold or flu (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) or if they have been denied boarding for travel in the last 14 days due to medical reasons related to COVID-19.
The most recent updates are available on VIA Rail’s 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.