Back on Track: VIA Rail Canadian

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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One of North America’s finest long-distance passenger trains, VIA Rail Canada’s iconic Canadian, will be resuming the Toronto to Winnipeg portion of its run wih one full Toronto-Vancouver round-trip per week starting May 17, 2021, when full eastbound service resumes. Full westbound service resumes 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 employee protection,” VIA Rail said. “VIA Rail continues to deploy a strict protocol of sanitary measures on board its trains, in its stations, maintenance and call centers 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. We 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 the Canadian’s service resumption “will be contacted and reimbursed automatically,” VIA Rail noted. “To facilitate cancellations and refunds, VIA Rail has extended its cancellation policy to include all travel through Sept. 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.”

VIA Rail President and CEO Cynthia Garneau

“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,” said Cynthia Garneau, President and CEO. 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,” which uses CN’s transcontinental main line.

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