VIA Rail


Four Days on VIA’s Canadian

Last summer I finished riding the entire VIA Rail system, including the railroad’s remote “Adventure” routes. It was not easy, and I reported those trips in a series collectively titled Adventures on

(Image Courtesy of VIA Rail Canada)

VIA Rail Unveils 2030 Strategic Plan

VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) on May 23 released a new five-year strategic plan, which Canada’s national rail passenger service described as the blueprint for its “next chapter.”

2023: A ‘Strong’ Year for VIA Rail

In 2023, 4.1 million passengers rode VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) trains, an increase of 815,000, or 24.7%, compared to 2022, marking the agency’s highest ridership since 2019, VIA Rail reported on May 14.

Illinois State Sen. Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) and Rep. Eva-Dina Delgado (D-Chicago) have introduced the Metropolitan Mobility Authority Act that proposes combining RTA, CTA, Metra and Pace into a new Chicagoland entity and providing it with an annual boost of $1.5 billion, according to a WGN9 report on April 29. (CTA Photograph Courtesy of FTA)

Transit Briefs: CTA/Metra/Pace/RTA, VIA Rail, WMATA

Two Illinois state legislators propose merging the Regional Transit Authority (RTA), Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra commuter rail and Pace suburban bus in Chicago. Also, VIA Rail Canada Inc. (VIA Rail) adds service between Ottawa and Toronto; and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) improves faregate display-screen messaging.

BART’s overall customer satisfaction rating in the most recent Passenger Experience Survey (PES) reached 81%, which is 7% higher than the previous quarter, according to the transit agency. (BART Photograph)

Transit Briefs: BART, Metro-North, VIA Rail, WMATA

San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) reports rider satisfaction gains. Also, MTA Metro-North Railroad completes its third station-accessibility project in 2024; VIA Rail Canada calls on Ottawa to replace its long-distance fleet; and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) increases police patrols on trains and buses.

SFMTA photo

Transit Briefs: SFMTA, VTA, NCDOT, VIA Rail

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board of Directors work to develop the agency’s two-year budget. Also, the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) announces its fourth transit-oriented affordable housing development; the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) seeks information from the public on new and advanced technologies to improve transportation; and VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) is recognized by Forbes as one of Canada’s Best Employers 2024.

SBCTA’s first ZEMU train (pictured) arrived in the U.S. in September and is being tested at the DOT Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo, Colo. (ENSCO Photograph). The agency recently awarded a contract for a hydrogen storage and transfer system that will be used to fuel the ZEMU. (ENSCO Photograph)

Transit Briefs: SBCTA, SCVTA, Sound Transit, VIA Rail

San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) advances its hydrogen infrastructure project ahead of ZEMU (Zero-Emission Multiple Unit) train service in California. Also, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (SCVTA) lands a $2.98 million grant for the Tidal Marsh Restoration Project; Seattle’s Sound Transit launches an online open house for an access improvements project at Sounder commuter rail’s South Tacoma Station; and Saskatchewan mayors consider a new route for VIA Rail Canada’s Canadian intercity passenger rail service.

Station locations and the potential Chicago-Detroit-Toronto routing (yellow) are illustrative. Light blue lines denote proposed new corridors; dark blue lines denote existing Amtrak service. (Amtrak Map)

Amtrak-VIA Rail May Return to Detroit River Tunnel

Canada’s VIA Rail confirmed Nov. 14 that it is engaged with Amtrak and other rail operators in discussions aimed at extending Amtrak’s existing Chicago-Detroit Wolverine service to Toronto’s downtown Union Station. Amtrak