VIA Rail: First ridership, revenue growth in seven years

VIA Rail released its annual report on May 6, 2016, and for the first time in seven years, posted both ridership and revenue gains.

VIA Rail praised, government panned by financial watchdog

Canada’s chief financial watchdog praised VIA Rail’s internal management April 3 but slammed successive national governments for failing to support the state-owned passenger railway with strategic planning and capital investment.

National Dream redux

From the April 2016 issue of Railway Age: From the era of fur-trading voyageurs, the St. Lawrence River Valley between the Great Lakes and Montreal has been Canada’s economic aorta. Solitary canoes gave way to steamships, railways, airplanes and freeways, and the vital artery is now clogged within a smear of yellow smog, often thick enough to taste.

Harold F. Murray, 1924 – 2016

Harold Francis Murray, former Senior Advisor – Passenger and On Board Services, PTSI Transportation, Winnipeg, Alberta, Canada, has passed away, the company announced April 11, 2016. He was 92.

Canada slates C$3.4 billion for passenger rail

Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced details of phase 1 of the federal government’s new infrastructure plan, which was unveiled as part of the 2016 budget on March 22, 2016.

Let’s keep spinning our wheels

The other day I found a buried snippet of information on the Federal Railroad Administration website pertaining to high speed rail. Dated March 11, 2016, it’s a “Notice of Request for Proposals for Implementing a High-Speed Rail Corridor.” Hmmm . . . This looks interesting. I wonder why it was kept so quiet?

SISCOG wins VIA Rail Canada contract

SISCOG, a Portugal-based software company that specializes in solutions for optimized planning and management of resources in transportation companies has secured a contract with a new international client: VIA Rail Canada, the company announced Jan. 19, 2016.

Guelph Subdivision upgraded to CTC

VIA Rail on Nov. 14, 2015, commissioned CTC (centralized traffic control) on its entire North Mainline (Guelph Subdivision) between Georgetown and London, Ontario.

High times ahead for Canadian rails

Canada’s three major railways should benefit from the Oct. 19, 2015 sea-to-sea election sweep by Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party of Canada. Trudeau’s party even managed to get four members of parliament elected in Alberta’s two metropolises, Calgary and Edmonton—the ideological and financial anchors of the defeated Stephen Harper’s pro-pipeline and anti-rail Conservative government.

Funding agreed for Ottawa – Montreal upgrade

Canadian Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt and Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, President and CEO of Via Rail, announced on July 31, 2015 that the Canadian government will invest $C 102.5 million ($US 77.6 million) over two years to improve the safety and efficiency of passenger operations on the 187km Ottawa – Montreal corridor.