Report Says Canadian to Remain Bi-Weekly in 2020

VIA Rail Canada’s flagship long-distance passenger train, The Canadian, will operate next summer with just two round trips per week the length of its route, Trains magazine reported this week.

The Canadian had previously run three times a week during the peak travel season between Vancouver and Toronto.

The plan to operate just twice weekly in summer 2020 is in contradiction to earlier VIA statements.

Trains noted that last May during VIA’s annual meeting, executives said that the carrier “fully intends” to resume tri-weekly operation between Vancouver and Toronto between May and October in 2020.

But now a VIA spokesperson has indicated that has changed.

“We subsequently consulted with our key stakeholders, including the infrastructure owner, and decided to maintain the current schedule in order to offer a reliable service and the best customer experience possible,” said VIA spokeswoman Marie-Anna Murat.

This year VIA is operating twice weekly between Vancouver and Toronto and one a week between Vancouver and Edmonton.

VIA said this arrangement was due to a track capacity expansion project being undertaken by host railroad Canadian National. The two-year program will cost $7.4 billion.

Trains said a review of the Canadian’s on-time performance found that the trains continue to encounter significant delays between Edmonton and Jasper, and west of Winnipeg.

The Vancouver-Edmonton trains will operate for the final time this week but resume next spring.

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