October 4, 2017
VIA RAIL TEMPORARILY CHANGES ITS SCHEDULE IN NORTHERN MANITOBA
Winnipeg, October 4, 2017– Due to operational imperatives, VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) announces that it will be temporarily modifying its schedule in Northern Manitoba as of November 1st, 2017. The Corporation will offer the following train services: once per week return service between Winnipeg and The Pas, twice per week service between The Pas and Thompson, and three times per week service between Thompson and Gillam. This temporary schedule will be in effect until the resumption of the service to Churchill.
In the spring of 2017, the service on the railway from Amery (northeast of Gillam, MB) to Churchill, in Northern Manitoba, was suspended indefinitely due to flood damage. A VIA Rail train was in Churchill at the time of the flooding, and has remained there. Within the next few days, this equipment will be shipped by sea to Montréal for maintenance.
As rust has already begun to form on exposed metal, recovering its assets at this time will enable VIA Rail to avoid the increased costs and time that would otherwise be required to repair the equipment and return it to service when the infrastructure repairs are completed and service can resume safely.Should the equipment remain exposed to the elements much longer, it would require a comprehensive overhaul to ensure its safe return to operation. This process would not only be extremely costly but would take several months to perform, having an impact on service for an extended period of time.
“VIA Rail is committed to providing communities with a frequent and reliable service. Since the closure of the railway in May, VIA Rail has been operating with reduced available equipment which has affected the reliability of the service.This revised schedule will allow us to continue to fulfill our commitment to remote communities until the service to Churchill resumes”, said VIA Rail’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Yves Desjardins-Siciliano.
About VIA Rail’s services in Northern Manitoba
VIA Rail's trains provide a unique and unparalleled way of discovering the Northern Manitoba region and communities along the route. From one season to the next, Canadians and tourists from all over the world can travel by train to the vast subarctic region of Northern Manitoba and enjoy the region’s rugged northern beauty.
About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail (viarail.ca) and its 2,700 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 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: www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail.