September 23, 2019


MONTRÉAL, September 23, 2019 - Today through September 29, VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) invites the general public to take part in the activities Operation Lifesaver has organized for the 16th annual Rail Safety Week. VIA Rail employees, working alongside industry partners and Operation Lifesaver volunteers, will host kiosks and information sessions in stations, on board trains and near railway crossings, with the theme of #STOPTrackTragedies 2019. Our goal: to educate the public, draw attention to the very real dangers of venturing near tracks, and raise awareness of precautions to take around railway property.

Every year, more than 2,100 people in North America are killed or seriously injured in railway incidents. Last year, 125 incidents occurred in Canada alone—72 of them fatal. “The saddest thing is that the vast majority of these incidents are avoidable,” said Cynthia Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer of VIA Rail. “Thus the importance of Operation Lifesaver, which VIA Rail has been associated with since the organization was founded in 1981. Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our employees, our passengers and the public. Throughout this entire week, our employees will be railway safety ambassadors in communities across Canada, taking part in awareness-raising activities aimed at everyone. Love the Way also means working together to avoid incidents, because even one is too many.”

An active presence across the country

Throughout the year, VIA Rail employees organize and participate in a wide variety of awareness-raising activities. During Rail Safety Week, in certain stations and in many other locations from Vancouver to Halifax, they will be part of nearly two dozen awareness-raising and educational events about precautions to take near all railway property.

The VIA Rail police service will be one of 17 Canadian police services participating in Operation Clear Track, the largest rail-safety law enforcement initiative in North America. They will enforce the laws about railway crossings and trespassing, and distribute tip sheets to drivers, pedestrians and cyclists across Canada.

Employees are also invited to support the Operation Lifesaver campaign by reposting or sharing the organization’s social media content and using the hashtags #RSW2019 and #STOPTrackTragedies.

About VIA Rail

As Canada’s national rail passenger service, VIA Rail ( 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 transports nearly 4.8 million passengers annually. 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