Via Rail

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Via Rail Canada
VIA Rail Canada Logo.svg
ViaRailNetworkMap.png
VIA Rail Train London Ontario.jpg
A Via train at the station in London, Ontario.
Reporting mark VIA
Locale Canada
Dates of operation 1978-present–
Predecessor The passenger rail services offered by CN and CP
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length 12,500 km (7,800 mi)[1]
Headquarters Place Ville Marie, Montreal, Quebec
Website Viarail.ca

Via Rail Canada (reporting mark VIA) (/ˈviə/; generally shortened to Via Rail or Via; styled corporately as VIA Rail Canada) is an independent crown corporation, subsidised by the Minister of Transport, to offer intercity passenger rail services in Canada.

Via Rail operates 497 trains per week in eight Canadian provinces (exceptions are Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island) over a network of 12,500 kilometres (7,800 mi) of track, almost all of which is owned and operated by CN Rail. Via Rail carries approximately 4.1 million passengers annually,[1] the majority on routes along the Quebec City–Windsor Corridor.

History[edit]

Background[edit]

The Canadian National Railway's Super Continental departs Toronto in 1970.

Yearly ridership on Canada's passenger trains peaked at 60 million during World War II. Following the war the growth of air travel and the personal automobile caused significant loss of mode share for Canada's passenger train operators. By the 1960s it was obvious to both Canadian National Railway (CN) and the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) that passenger trains were not economically viable in the current market. The CP sought to divest itself of its trains but federal government regulators and politicians balked, forcing the CP to maintain a minimal service through the 1970s, with the government subsidizing up to 80% of losses. CN, being a Crown corporation at that time, was encouraged by the federal government and political interests to invest in passenger trains. Innovative marketing schemes such as Red, White, and Blue fares, new equipment such as scenic dome cars and rail diesel cars, and services such as Rapido and the UAC TurboTrain trains temporarily increased ridership, reversing previous declines.[2]:4–5

These increases proved temporary: by 1977 total ridership had dropped beneath five million. The decline of passenger rail became a federal election issue in 1974 when the government of Pierre Trudeau promised to implement a nationwide carrier similar to Amtrak in the United States. The bilingual name Via or Via CN originated in 1976 as a marketing term for CN's passenger services and the Via logo began to appear on CN passenger locomotives and cars, while still carrying CN logos as well. That September, Via published a single timetable with information on both CN and CP trains, marking the first time that Canadians could find all major passenger trains in one publication. In 1977, CN underwent a dramatic restructuring when it placed various non-core freight railway activities into separate subsidiaries such as ferries under CN Marine and passenger trains under Via Rail which was subsequently renamed Via Rail Canada.[2]:6–9

Formation of Via Rail Canada - 1977[edit]

A Via LRC disembarking at Ottawa Train Station

On January 12, 1977, VIA Rail was issued its certificate of incorporation. Via Rail became a separate Crown corporation, taking with it possession of former CN passenger cars and locomotives. Following several months of negotiation, on October 29, 1978, Via took over operation of CP passenger train services, and took possession of cars and locomotives. Passenger train services which were not included in the creation of Via Rail included those offered by BC Rail, Algoma Central Railway, Ontario Northland Railway, Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway, various urban commuter train services operated by CN and CP, and remaining CN passenger services in Newfoundland. At this time, Via did not own any trackage and had to pay right-of-way fees to CN and CP, sometimes being the only user of rural branch lines.[citation needed]

Via initially had a tremendous variety of equipment, with much of it in need of replacement, and operated routes stretching from Sydney, Nova Scotia to Prince Rupert, British Columbia and north to Churchill, Manitoba. Over 150 scheduled trains per week were in operation, including transcontinental services, regional trains, and corridor services.[citation needed]

While Via is an independent federal Crown corporation mandated to operate as a business, it is hindered by the fact that it was created by an Order in Council of the Privy Council, and not from legislation passed by Parliament. If Via were enabled by legislation, the company could be permitted to seek funding on the open money markets as other Crown corporations such as CN have done in the past. It is largely for this reason that critics say Via is vulnerable to federal budget cuts and continues to answer first to its political masters, as opposed to the business decisions needed to ensure the viability of intercity passenger rail service.[citation needed]

Service cuts - 1981[edit]

Increased ridership would not be Via's saviour. In 1981, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's government endorsed Minister of Transport Jean-Luc Pépin's plan which cut Via's budget, leading to a 40% reduction in the company's operations. Gone were frequently sold-out trains such as the Super Continental (which reduced Via to operating only one transcontinental train, The Canadian) and the popular Atlantic, among others.[citation needed]

Via also sought to reduce its reliance on over 30-year-old second-hand equipment and placed a significant order with Bombardier Transportation for new high-speed locomotives and cars which would be used in its corridor trains. The LRC (Light, Rapid, Comfortable) locomotives and cars used advanced technology such as active tilt to increase speed, but proved troublesome and took several years to work out problems (by 1990 only a handful of LRC locomotives remained in service which were subsequently retired by the arrival of the GE Genesis locomotives in 2001).[citation needed]

Service restoration - 1985[edit]

The election of Brian Mulroney's government in 1984 brought a friend to Via, initially, when several of Mulroney's commitments included rescinding the Via cuts of 1981 by restoring the Super Continental (under pressure from his western caucus), and the Atlantic (under pressure from his eastern caucus and the then-Saint John mayor Elsie Wayne). Prime Minister Mulroney's government gave Via funding to refurbish some of its cars, and purchase new locomotives, this time a more reliable model from General Motors Diesel Division.[citation needed]

It was during this time on February 8, 1986, that Via's eastbound Super Continental collided with a CN freight train near Hinton, Alberta, as a result of the freight train crew missing a signal light. The resulting derailment killed 23 people.

Service cuts - 1990[edit]

The Ocean leaves the station at Amherst, Nova Scotia in July 2006 en route to Halifax. The image shows a vintage stainless steel "Park" observation car at the rear of the train. The other cars are newer Renaissance cars introduced by Via in 2003.

By the late 1980s, inflation and other rising costs were taking their toll on federal budgets and in the Mulroney government's 1989 budget, Via again saw its budget slashed, surpassing even the 1981 cuts under Trudeau. Minister of Transport Benoît Bouchard oversaw the reduction in service on January 15, 1990, when Via's operations were reduced by 55%.[citation needed]

Services such as the Super Continental were cut again, along with numerous disparate rural services such as in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley and Cape Breton Island, western Canada, and in the corridor. The Canadian was also moved from its 'home' rails on CP to the northerly CN route (which the Super Continental had used). The shift to the less-populated (and less scenic) route between Toronto and Vancouver severed major western cities such as Regina and Calgary from the passenger rail network and flared western bitterness toward Ottawa.[citation needed]

The official justification for the rerouting was that the trains would serve more remote communities, but the concentration of ridings held by the Progressive Conservatives along the CN route attracted the charge that the move was chiefly political. Harvie André, one of Alberta's federal cabinet ministers who represented Calgary, stated publicly that he did not care if he never saw a passenger train again in his life.[citation needed]

After these cuts, Via was a much smaller company and immediately took to rationalizing its fleet of cars and locomotives, resulting in a fleet of refurbished stainless steel (HEP-1 and HEP-2 rebuilds, for "head end power") and LRC cars, as well as rationalizing its locomotive fleet with GM and Bombardier (LRC) units.[citation needed]

Service cuts - 1994[edit]

Via was not spared from further cutbacks in Jean Chrétien's government elected in 1993. Minister of Finance Paul Martin's first budget in 1994 saw further Via cuts which saw the popular Atlantic dropped from the schedule, focusing the eastern transcontinental service on the Ocean.[citation needed]

This move was seen as somewhat controversial and politically motivated as the principal cities benefiting from the Atlantic's service were Sherbrooke, Quebec and Saint John, New Brunswick, where the only two Progressive Conservative Party Members of Parliament in Canada were elected in the 1993 federal election in which Chrétien's Liberal Party took power. The Ocean service which was preserved operates on trackage between Montreal and Halifax running through the lower St. Lawrence River valley and northern New Brunswick. The Minister of Transport in Chrétien's government at the time, Douglas Young, was elected from a district that included Bathurst, New Brunswick, on the Ocean's route. A remote Via service to Quebec's Gaspé Peninsula, the Chaleur was also spared from being cut at this time, despite having less ridership than the Atlantic.[citation needed]

Renaissance funding - 2000-2003[edit]

Via Rail P42DC pulling LRC coaches towards Montreal

By the late 1990s, amidst rising environmental concerns focusing on reducing dependence on automobiles and airplanes (see Kyoto Accord), and with a rail-friendly Minister of Transport David Collenette in office, there were modest funding increases to Via. Corridor services were improved with new and faster trains, a weekly tourist train The Bras d'Or returned Via service to Cape Breton Island for the first time since the 1990 cuts, and a commitment was made to continue operating on Vancouver Island, but western Canada continued to languish with the only service provided by the Canadian and a few remote service trains in northern BC and Manitoba.[citation needed]

In a significant new funding program dubbed "Renaissance", a fleet of unused passenger cars which had been built for planned Nightstar sleeper services between locations in the United Kingdom and Continental Europe, via the Channel Tunnel, were purchased and adapted following the cancellation of the Nightstar project. The new "Renaissance" cars were swiftly nicknamed déplaisance ("displeasure") by French-speaking employees and customers, due to early problems adapting the equipment for Canadian use. Doors and toilets froze in cold Atlantic Canada temperatures, resulting in delays and service interruptions.[3] New diesel-electric P42DC locomotives purchased from General Electric allowed the withdrawal of older locomotives, including the remaining LRC locomotives. The LRC passenger cars were retained and continued to provide much of the Corridor service. This expansion to Via's fleet has permitted scheduling flexibility, particularly in the corridor. Additionally, many passenger stations have been remodelled into rider-friendly destinations, with several hosting co-located transit and regional bus hubs for various municipalities.[citation needed]

Renaissance II proposal and cancellation - 2003-2004[edit]

On October 24, 2003, federal Minister of Transport David Collenette announced $700 million in new funding over the next five years. This funding was far below the $3 billion needed to implement a high-speed rail proposal in the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor nicknamed ViaFast, however the funding was intended to "provide for faster, more frequent and more reliable passenger service across Canada... [preserving] the option for higher speed rail, such as the Via Fast proposal" said Collenette. This new project was to be called "Renaissance II".[4] Critics[who?] of "Renaissance II" noted that the majority of spending would take place in the corridor services and not add new trains or improved scheduling to Atlantic and Western Canada.

On December 18, 2003, Prime Minister Paul Martin announced a freeze in federal spending on all major capital projects, including Via's five-year $700 million capital investment 'Renaissance II' program announced just six weeks earlier by outgoing Prime Minister Chrétien's administration. Critics of Martin's cuts claimed that he was in a distinct conflict of interest as his family through Canada Steamship Lines and various subsidiary and affiliated companies had once had a significant investment in the Voyageur Colonial Bus Lines, an intercity bus line in Quebec and eastern Ontario that is a key competitor of Via Rail.[citation needed]

Service cuts - 2004-2005[edit]

Route cuts under the Martin government included the withdrawal of the seasonal Bras d'Or tourist train, which ran for the last time in September 2004, and the Montreal-Toronto overnight Enterprise, which was discontinued in September 2005. The Sarnia–Chicago International was also discontinued in April 2004 by Amtrak. Via's portion of the route from Toronto-Sarnia remained in operation as Via was able to use their own equipment to operate the train.[citation needed]

Via's role in the sponsorship scandal - 2004[edit]

Via waiting in Toronto, Ontario for next departure.

The federal Auditor General's report released publicly on February 10, 2004, showed what appeared to be a criminal misdirection of government funds intended for advertising to key Quebec-based supporters of the Liberal Party of Canada. (See sponsorship scandal.) Included in the Auditor General's report was the fact that Via Rail was used as one of several federal government departments, agencies, and Crown corporations to funnel these illicit funds. Forced to act on the Auditor General's report due to its political implications, Prime Minister Paul Martin's government suspended Via Rail President Marc LeFrançois on February 24, 2004, giving him an ultimatum of several days to defend himself against allegations in the report or face further disciplinary action.[citation needed]

Several days later, during LeFrançois's suspension, a former Via Rail marketing department employee, Myriam Bédard, claimed she was fired several years earlier when she questioned company billing practices in dealing with advertising companies. (According to CBC News, an arbitrator's report later concluded that Bédard had voluntarily left Via Rail.) She was publicly belittled by Via Rail Chief Executive Officer Jean Pelletier in national media on February 27, 2004. Pelletier retracted his statements but on March 1, 2004, Pelletier was fired. On March 5, 2004, after failing to adequately defend himself against the allegations in the Auditor General's report, LeFrançois was fired as well.[citation needed]

Increasing problems and reinstated funding - 2005-2009[edit]

The reversal of funding in 2003 led to a backlog of deferred maintenance and left Via unable to replace or refurbish life-expired locomotives and rolling stock. Regardless, Via ridership increased from 3.8 million in 2005 to 4.1 million in 2006.[5]

On October 11, 2007, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced federal government funding of $691.9 million over five years, of which $519 million is capital funding, and the remainder additional operating funding. The capital funding is earmarked to refurbish Via's fleet of 54 F40PH-2 locomotives to meet new emissions standards and extend their service lives by 15–20 years, refurbish the interiors of the LRC coaches, reduce track capacity bottlenecks and speed restrictions in the Windsor-Quebec City Corridor, and make repairs to a number of stations across the network.[6]

This announcement is similar in content to the previous Renaissance II package, and once again can be criticized for not including any new equipment or funding for services outside the Corridor. Shortly after this announcement was made, documents obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act revealed that delays due to equipment failures had risen by 60% since the previous year. The company attributed this to problems with the aging F40 locomotive fleet.[7]

On January 27, 2009, the Government of Canada announced in its 2009 Economic Action Plan that it would increase funding to Via by $407 million to support improvements to passenger rail services, including higher train frequencies and enhanced on-time performance and speed, particularly in the Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto corridor.[8]

Labour difficulties - 2009-2010[edit]

On July 21, 2009, VIA Rail announced that its engineers would go on strike as of July 24 if no deal was reached by then, and began cancelling all trains in anticipation of strike. The strike officially began at midnight on July 24 after it became clear that no deal had been reached. Engineers had been without a contract since December 31, 2006. Full service was resumed on July 27, 2009.[9]

A strike by the Canadian Auto Workers union, representing around 2,200 employees, was planned to begin on 4 July 2010, but was called off after the union and Via reached a three-year contract.[10]

Service cuts - 2011[edit]

The Victoria-Courtenay service on Vancouver Island was suspended indefinitely in March 2011 due to deteriorating track.

Service cuts - 2012[edit]

On June 27, 2012, Via Rail announced another round of budget cuts to be achieved by reducing service:

  • The Canadian was reduced from 3 days a week to 2 days a week beginning in November 2012, service will be 2 days a week from November to April during off peak season and returning to 3 per week during peak season from May to October.
  • The Ocean was reduced from 6 days a week to 3 days a week beginning in October 2012.
  • Corridor services west of Toronto were reduced, and there will be weekend service reductions to Montreal and Ottawa.[11]
  • Corridor services to Sarnia and Niagara Region were reduced to one per day starting in October 2012, with some cuts starting in July 2012. Sarnia was left with only one train each way per day.[12] Niagara Falls lost all service except the joint Amtrak-Via Maple Leaf service.[13]
  • Corridor services to Kitchener,[14] London,[15] and Windsor[16] were reduced to fewer trains per day starting in October 2012, though still at least two each way.

Service cuts, 2013[edit]

  • Gaspé service, which had been replaced by bus service sometime in 2011, was suspended indefinitely[17] in September 2013.

Service Restoration, 2014[edit]

  • The Montreal - Gaspé train resumed service between Montreal and New Carlisle on January 7, 2014. [18]
  • Corridor late-evening Toronto-Montreal stopping service was reintroduced, with a 18:00 departure from Toronto and 18:30 departure from Montreal Fridays and Sundays
  • Express Corridor Toronto-Ottawa midday service was introduced, departing Fridays-Mondays at 10:45 from Toronto and 10:30 from Ottawa

Budget and Management[edit]

Via Rail is operated as an independent crown corporation and receives a subsidy from the Minister of Transport to service remote communities. The line item for the subsidy is found is Volume III of the Public Accounts of Canada, and was in 2012 $494 million. VIA Rail operates 50 trains per week in and between remote communities in Canada, six trains per week between Montreal and Halifax, and three trains per week between Toronto and Vancouver. More than 400 trains per week run in the corridor between Windsor and Quebec, including an average of six interprovincially-routed departures or arrivals.[1] The sum of almost $200 million was earned from passenger fares on intercity travel in the Ontario-Quebec corridor.[1] Over four million passenger voyages were taken in 2010.[1] An on-time ratio of over 80% was achieved in that year.[1] Just under 3,000 persons were employed by VIA Rail in 2010.[1] Over the 20 years prior to 2010, VIA Rail increased its passenger revenues by 92%.[1]

The Chair of the Board of Directors in 2010 was Paul G. Smith, while the President and CEO was Marc Laliberte; 12 other persons were Directors at the time.[1] The Annual accounts of VIA Rail are audited to GAAP principles by the Auditor-General of Canada, under the Financial Administration Act.[1] VIA Rail Canada Inc. is incorporated under the CBCA and is subject to income taxes, should a profit ever be declared by it. Rolling stock, which amounted to $806.5 million in 2010, is amortised over a 12 to 30-year period.[1] The corporation had $9,300,000 in share capital as of 2010.[1] In May 2014, Yves Desjardins-Siciliano was appointed as the new CEO of VIA Rail.[19]

Carbon emissions[edit]

In 2010, Via's carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent emissions per passenger kilometre were 0.117 kg.[20] For comparison, this is similar to Amtrak or a car with two people,[21] about twice as high as the UK rail average,[22] about four times the average US motorcoach,[23] and about eight times a Finnish electric intercity train or fully loaded fifty-seat coach.[24] It is, however, about two thirds of the raw CO2-equivalent emissions of a long-distance domestic flight.[25]

Travelling on Via[edit]

Travel on Via varies by region as much as class. Many of Via's policies and protocols are the product of running a national train system with varying pressures and needs of different riders, communities, and contexts. The results are wide-ranging travel experiences depending on the distance and location of the journey.

Classes of service[edit]

Business Class LRC interior
  • Economy: Economy class seating in coach cars. Passengers are not always assigned specific seats, and are usually segregated into specific train cars according to passenger destination. Snacks and beverages are sold by employees with service carts. Free Wi-Fi access is provided in the Corridor and on the Ocean.[26] All Corridor trains with the exception of trains 650 and 651 have assigned seating. [27]
  • Business: First-class seating available on most Corridor trains in southern Quebec and Ontario. Business Class offers passengers individually reserved seats, more spacious seating, window blinds, inclusive hot three-course meals complete with complimentary wine and liqueurs, in-seat AC power outlets and free Wi-Fi access. Business Class passengers are also granted priority boarding and access to the Panorama Lounges at major urban stations.[28]
  • Sleeper: Sleeping accommodations aboard overnight trains. Sleeper class includes berth sections and single, double and triple bedrooms which feature bunkbeds, electrical outlet, chairs and a private washroom. Each sleeper car (except in the case of Renaissance cars) is equipped with a public shower.
  • Sleeper Plus: Improved sleeping accommodations; available on the Canadian and Ocean only. Combines Sleeper class accommodations, first-class meals in the dining car, and access to the "Skyline" car and viewing salons in the glass-domed "Park" car, when available. Passengers are also given priority boarding and access to the Panorama Lounges at major urban stations.[29][30]
  • Touring: Available on the Jasper – Prince Rupert train only. Includes complimentary cold meals and access to the "Park" car.[31]

On board[edit]

Interior of the dining car on the Canadian.
A canoe being loaded aboard the Canadian's baggage car in 2000.

Amenities[edit]

Smoking is prohibited on all Via trains. It has been banned on the Corridor routes since 1993[32] and was gradually extended to all trains. The last remaining on-board smoking was permitted in a smoker's lounge on some long-distance routes, only at certain times of day/night until 2002.[33] Washrooms are provided for each car. On sleeper cars, every private room has its own separate washroom. Food service varies by train. All trains save the Sudbury – White River train offer snacks, light meals, and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Long-distance trains offer traditional sit-down dining and full meals.[34]

There is a complimentary Wi-Fi service available in the Corridor. The present Wi-Fi system is provided by 21Net since November 2008. Previously, the Wi-Fi service was provided by Parsons commencing in February 2006. Via had upgraded the past Wi-Fi system during 2011 with technology provided by Nomad Digital.[35][36][37][dead link] Via Rail was the first North American transportation service to offer Wi-Fi to its passengers in early 2006, and was one of the first in the world to do so. Wi-Fi is also available to travelers in all classes of service who may benefit from complimentary Wi-Fi service in many Quebec City-Windsor corridor stations.[38]

Luggage[edit]

Via offers checked luggage on its longer-haul services; however, in the Corridor only certain trains have luggage cars. In older class cars there is sufficient space at the front of the car for luggage storage. In contrast, the Renaissance stock has enough space (underneath the seat) for only one small piece of carry-on luggage; the remainder must be checked.[39]

Accessibility and safety concerns[edit]

Via offers pre-boarding assistance to those passengers requiring extra time to board its trains. Not all stations are equally accessible; some have high-level platforms or mechanical lifts. All Via trains are capable of accommodating wheelchairs, although capacity is limited.[40]

Routes and connections[edit]

Corridor service leaving Sainte-Foy, Quebec.
The joint Via/Amtrak Maple Leaf crosses the Whirlpool Bridge in 1983.

Via operates 497 trains per week over nineteen routes, grouped into three broad categories:[41]

  • "Rapid Intercity Travel": daytime services over the Corridor between Ontario and Quebec. The vast majority of Via's trains–429 per week–operate here.
  • "Long-distance travel and tourism": the famous Canadian and Ocean, providing traditional transcontinental service.
  • "Mandatory Services": rural services mandated by the Canadian Government for areas which otherwise lack reasonable year-round transportation.

Corridor[edit]

Main article: Corridor (Via Rail)

Corridor is used by Via to refer to all Via intercity passenger trains which start and end within the geographic region known as the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor. The Corridor trains run from Windsor, Ontario, in the west through southern Ontario to south-western Quebec to Quebec City. The area offers the greatest concentration of Via trains. Roughly 90% of Via's revenue and ridership is within this corridor.[42] Ownership of the route is split between Via, the Canadian National Railway, the Canadian Pacific Railway, and Metrolinx.[citation needed] Via has been working with CN since 2009 to add a third track to portions of this route.[43] The 66 km of track are projected to be finished in 2012,[43][44] and would eventually increase its on-time performance and reduce travel time by up to 30 minutes.

Long-distance routes[edit]

Canadian[edit]

Main article: Canadian (train)

The Canadian operates between Toronto and Vancouver. It is the lineal descendant of the famous Canadian Pacific train of the same name which ran between 1955–1978, although since 1990 it has used the Canadian National's route instead of the CP's, replacing the discontinued Super Continental. The journey between Toronto and Vancouver requires almost 87 hours. It operates twice a week off-peak and three times a week during peak season.[11][dated info]

Ocean[edit]

Main article: Ocean (train)

The Ocean, which operates between Montreal and Halifax, has operated over essentially the same route since 1903, making it one of the oldest named trains in the world. It travels over the former Intercolonial Railway, built by the federal government as part of the terms on which New Brunswick and Nova Scotia agreed to join Canada. During both world wars the line to Halifax was vitally important to Canada's war effort. The Ocean makes the 840-mile (1,352 km) journey in 21 hours, three days a week.[11][dated info]

Mandatory routes[edit]

Via operates a total of fifty trains a week to remote rural areas to fulfill government mandates for service to areas "where alternative, year-round transportation is limited or unavailable." This includes trains to the Gaspé Peninsula, White River, Ontario, Churchill, Manitoba, and Prince Rupert, British Columbia.[41][45]

Connections[edit]

International connections are provided by agreement with Amtrak and include the Maple Leaf, operating between New York's Pennsylvania Station and Toronto's Union Station via Albany and Buffalo. The Adirondack is an exclusive Amtrak train operating between Montreal's Gare Centrale (Central Station) and New York City's Penn Station. The Amtrak Cascades offers service between Vancouver and Seattle, Washington. Additional rail service within Canada is provided by the Algoma Central Railway and Keewatin Railway.

Rolling stock[edit]

Via Rail owns 78 locomotives and 396 passenger cars.[46] Examples include the GMD F40PH-2 diesel locomotive and the famed "Park"-class sleeper-dome-lounge cars found on the rear of the Canadian and Jasper – Prince Rupert train.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • The deadliest Via Rail accident to date occurred on February 8, 1986, when a Via train collided with a CN freight train near Hinton, Alberta, killing 23 people and injuring 71.
  • On February 26, 2012, Via Rail train 92 en route from Niagara Falls to Toronto, derailed in Burlington, Ontario, killing all three railroad engineers and injuring 46 (3 seriously). The cause of the derailment is attributed to the excessive speed of the train travelling through a switch from track 2 to track 3.
  • On April 22, 2013, 2 men affiliated with al-Qaeda were charged with plotting to derail a Via train in the Greater Toronto Area.[47]
  • On September 18, 2013, a collision occurred between Train 51 and a double-decker OC Transpo bus that failed to stop at a level crossing in Ottawa. Six people were killed and 31 injured (11 critically), all of whom were on the bus. The impact resulted in the train derailing approximately 100–200 feet (30–61 m) down the track.[48]

See also[edit]

Predecessor passenger services:

Other publicly owned regional passenger carriers in Canada:

Privately owned Canadian passenger services:

Other companies in North America offering inter-city services:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "At a Glance". Annual Report 2010. Via Rail Canada. p. 2. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Nelligan, Tom (1982). VIA Rail Canada: The first five years. PJT Publishing. ISBN 0-937658-08-1. 
  3. ^ "Transport 2000 Hotline". Transport2000.ca. 2004-01-30. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  4. ^ http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2003/10/24/train031024.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  5. ^ "Via gets hundreds of millions in federal funding". CBC. 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2007-10-11. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Backgrounder: New Funding For Via Rail Canada". Via Rail. 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2007-10-23. 
  7. ^ Beeby, Dean (2007-10-20). "Via train late? You're not alone". Toronto: The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2007-10-23. 
  8. ^ "Canada's Economic Action Plan". Department of Finance of Canada. 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ "Via Rail, CAW reach tentative agreement to avoid strike". Progressive Railroading. 28 June 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  11. ^ a b c "Via Rail continues its modernization and takes action to better meet customer demand" (Press release). Via Rail. June 27, 2012. Retrieved June 27, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Via train service to Sarnia cut in half". Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Niagara travellers impacted by Via cuts". Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Via Rail blames low ridership for cuts to Kitchener service". Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  15. ^ "London area hit hard by nationwide Via Rail cuts". Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Via Rail cuts means fewer trains to, from Windsor". Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  17. ^ "VIA Rail service between Matapédia, New Carlisle and Gaspé suspended". Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Timetable 2014 Hiver". Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  19. ^ "Via Rail announces new CEO after Baird calls for a shakeup". The Globe and Mail. The Canadian Press. 2014-05-11. Retrieved 2014-07-18. 
  20. ^ Email from Bruno Riendeau, Senior Advisor, Environment, to Alaric Hall, October 20th 2011. Cf. http://docs.wri.org/wri_co2comm_2002_commuting_protected.xls, sheet 8, cell C36 (figures from 2002) and http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/programs/environment-ecofreight-about-voluntary-racemissions2007-2-1134.htm.
  21. ^ respectively http://docs.wri.org/wri_co2comm_2002_commuting_protected.xls, sheet 8, cell C33, figures from 2002; http://www.buses.org/files/2008ABAFoundationComparativeFuelCO2.pdf table 1.1, figures from 2007
  22. ^ figures from 2008-9.
  23. ^ figures from 2007.
  24. ^ Respectively http://lipasto.vtt.fi/yksikkopaastot/henkiloliikennee/raideliikennee/junat_henkiloe.htm, figures for 2007; http://www.lipasto.vtt.fi/yksikkopaastot/henkiloliikennee/tieliikennee/linja-autote/latiee.htm, figures for 2010.
  25. ^ Based on the 2008 Finnish data at http://lipasto.vtt.fi/yksikkopaastot/henkiloliikennee/ilmaliikennee/ilmae.htm.
  26. ^ "Train routes by region | Via Rail". Viarail.ca. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  27. ^ http://www.viarail.ca/en/travel-information/board-services/seat-assignment
  28. ^ Via Rail. "Helpful links for the business traveller". Viarail.ca. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  29. ^ "Classes aboard the Montréal-Halifax train (the Ocean) | Via Rail". Viarail.ca. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  30. ^ "Classes aboard the Toronto-Vancouver train (the Canadian) | Via Rail". Viarail.ca. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  31. ^ "Classes aboard the Jasper-Prince Rupert train | Via Rail". Viarail.ca. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  32. ^ "Smoking to be banned on Via train". The Gazette (Montreal, QC). April 15, 1993. pp. A3. 
  33. ^ DeMont, John (August 2002). "All Aboard!". Maclean's 115 (34): 16. 
  34. ^ Via Rail. "Onboard menus for all trains". Retrieved 2013-02-24. 
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  39. ^ Rail Canada, retrieved 6-12-2011
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  48. ^ "Via train and city bus crash in Ottawa, at least 6 dead, 30 injured". CTV News. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]