Limited Return of Canadian Set for Dec. 11

VIA Rail Canada will return its Canadian to service on Dec. 11 on a weekly basis between Vancouver and Winnipeg.

The train normally operates between Vancouver and Toronto but was suspended on March 31 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a news release, VIA said trains will depart Vancouver on Fridays and Winnipeg on Mondays.

Although VIA did not say when service would resume east of Winnipeg to Toronto, the VIA statement said the passenger carrier will do that “as quickly as possible.”

Still suspended is the Ocean, an overnight train that operates between Montreal and Halifax.

VIA said sleeper plus and economy class service will be offered and a reservation system will control access to the dining car.

A Park class dome-lounge-observation car will not be assigned to the train.

In an unrelated announcement, VIA said passengers will be able to travel aboard its trains without wearing a facial mask if they provide a certificate showing they are medically exempt from wearing one.

The announcement said the certificate, which must be accompanied by a government-issued photo ID, must indicate the passenger’s name and specify that the individual has a medical condition or disability that prevents them from wearing a mask.

The certificate must be provided by a healthcare provider on official letterhead with the provider’s license and contact information.

The policy is similar to one imposed by Transport Canada for airline passengers. That policy states that children under age 2 are exempt from the mask requirement.

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