November 30, 2016


·         Ridership up 5.5%

·         Passenger Revenues up 10.3%

·         Capacity up by 9%


Montréal, November 30, 2016 – Continuing on its upward trend, VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) welcomed 56,000 more passengers from July to September 2016 than the same period last year, up by 5.5%. It also grew its revenues for a 10th consecutive quarter. Passenger revenues have increased by 10.3% during the third quarter of 2016. As a result, the Corporation reduced its requirement for government funding for the quarter, compared to the same quarter last year.

“As more travellers are making the smart choice of trading their cars for the safety, comfort and environmental benefits of our trains, we are now in a position to optimistically plan for the long term,” said VIA Rail’s President and CEO, Yves Desjardins-Siciliano. “This summer, during the months of July and August, we broke performance records and hit record highs for ridership growth, while across the Corporation we benefited from a more engaged workforce, and to top it off, we celebrated landmark station anniversaries. Ottawa station turned 50 in July, and in August, Gare du Palais, our heritage station in Québec City celebrated its centennial. Milestones like these give us a chance to reflect on how far our company has come and the positive impact we can continue to have on the environmental and economic future of our country.”

Why don’t you take the train?

On September 2, VIA Rail launched a new marketing campaign. Its objective: to get people to question their own travel habits. The campaign asks one simple question: “Why don’t you take the train?” The campaign encourages Canadians residing in the Québec City – Windsor corridor, with a touch of humour, to pause and reevaluate their habits, and the accompanying website dispels some common myths about train travel, like cost and travel time.

Third Quarter 2016 highlights

Capital investments

§  Launch of a $20 million renovation project at Ottawa station

§  Announcement of a $34 million federal infrastructure funding allocation for the improvement of two VIA Rail maintenance centres and of various VIA Rail stations along the Québec City-Windsor corridor

Service improvements

§  Launch of VIA Rail’s enhanced partnership with Maritime Bus adding 47 destinations to the VIA Rail service offering

§  Addition of Discount Car Rental kiosks and cars to Belleville, Cobourg, Moncton, and Windsor stations

§  New table extensions for Business class passengers

§  Enhancements to the Canadian service’s Prestige class experience

Be an employer of choice

§  Employee engagement survey achieves a 71 per cent participation rate, surpassing last year’s participation rate of 63 per cent. The engagement level also increased to 57 per cent, a 6 percentage point improvement in employee engagement compared to the second quarter of 2015, when the previous survey was conducted.

  • Improved communications and document management tool for Locomotive Engineers following the deployment of tablets to replace paper copies of the necessary operating and regulatory documents


Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, the President and CEO of VIA Rail, honoured by Women and Boards, a non-for-profit organization that supports the advancement of women in corporate governance.

VIA Rail’s 2016 third quarter report is available to download at:

About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail ( and its 2,600 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 four million passengers annually. The Corporation was awarded seven Safety Awards by the Railway Association of Canada over the last eight years. For more information, visit: