July 9, 2021


MONTRÉAL, July 9, 2021 – VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) is pleased to announce that its last route which was suspended due to COVID-19, the Ocean, will be gradually resuming service starting August 11. As it had been done for the other VIA Rail services, the return to operation will occur progressively beginning with one weekly round trip.

 Halifax - Montréal 
 starting August 11 
 Montréal - Halifax 
 starting August 15 


Since the beginning of the pandemic, VIA Rail has been in regular contact with public health authorities and provincial governments in Eastern Canada. The gradual resumption of the Ocean was made possible following the progressive reopening of provinces and the recent developments related to health measures in the region.

To provide a safe travel experience to its passengers and employees, various measures will be implemented, including enhanced cleaning, air ventilation system upgrades and modified onboard services.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had an important impact on the travel options of Canadians in Eastern Canada,” said Cynthia Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer. “To follow and respect guidelines and recommendations from public health authorities and provincial governments, we could not provide our passengers the service and frequencies offered under normal circumstances. Our objective has always been the safe resumption of the Ocean when conditions allowed it, and we could not be happier to be able to finally proceed with this gradual return to service in this region.”

VIA Rail continues to deploy strict protocols 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.

VIA Rail remains committed to a full recovery of its services throughout its network and will continue to work closely with public health authorities as well as the federal and provincial governments to ensure this occurs when conditions permit.



For questions customers may contact the VIA Customer Centre by email at service@viarail.ca or by phone at 1-888-VIA-RAIL (1-888-842-7245), TTY 1-800-268-9503 (hearing impaired). The VIA Customer Centre is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday to Friday and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) on weekends. Please note that 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, enhanced health and safety measures introduced during the pandemic have been maintained, including enhanced cleaning, pre-boarding screening of travellers, modified onboard services.

Furthermore, VIA Rail asks that passengers stay informed of public health guidelines and respect those that apply to them and their travel plans. The Corporation also constantly reminds its passengers and employees of the importance of following recommendations from public health authorities 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 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 nine Safety Awards and three Environment Awards by the Railway Association of Canada since 2005. Visit the “About VIA Rail” section at https://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail.