A glimpse of actual progress teased the passenger rail industry July 6 when the Canadian government unveiled previously obscure details of its long-running High Frequency Rail (HFR) program.
Toronto-area regional transit agency Metrolinx has opened the Bloomington GO Station, part of the Richmond Hill Line; the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) has launched a real-time digital signage pilot program; the Utah Transit Authority Board of Trustees has approved a new contract with the Utah Division of Air Quality for “free fare days,” according to the Daily Herald; and VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) will increase service on the Québec City-Windsor corridor starting July 12.
VIA Rail Canada has published a 199-page annual report for 2020, covering its response to pandemic- and blockade-related service disruptions and how it moved forward with the implementation of its 2020-25 strategic plan.
The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) has published the 28th edition of its Trends Report, providing a ten-year performance overview (2010-19) of its member passenger and freight railroads.
VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) has ratified collective agreements with Unifor Council 4000, the union representing more than 1,600 employees in stations, on board trains, in call centers and in administrative offices.
VIA Rail Canada’s third-quarter 2020 results include an 86% drop in rider revenue and 82% decrease in ridership from the same period last year due to the pandemic. Total revenues for 3Q20 fell 84%, on a 79% reduction in capacity as travel demand plummeted. Total operating expenses decreased by 27.5%. (See chart below.)
Software company SISCOG has released a case study that highlights the financial and management advantages of VIA Rail’s decision-support and optimization system, which includes savings of C$10 million.
Canada’s federal government will help fund replacement of VIA Rail locomotives and rolling stock on the country’s most heavily-traveled passenger rail corridor.