Posts Tagged ‘Toronto’

VIA to Rebuild Toronto, Montreal Maintenance Centers

November 19, 2022

VIA Rail Canada has awarded two contracts for the rebuilding of its Toronto and Montréal maintenance facilities.

Buttcon Limited of Concord, Ontario, will rebuild the Toronto Maintenance Center while Pomerleau Incorporated of Montréal will rebuild the Montréal Maintenance Center.

VIA said funding for the projects is in place and work will begin next spring.

The rebuilding of the maintenance facilities is being undertaken to make them better equipped to service 32 new trainsets being built for VIA by Siemens Mobility.

The Siemens cars, which began arriving at VIA in September, will ultimately replace existing rail cars now used in the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor.

The first Siemens-built trainset began revenue service this month. Additional new equipment will be placed in service next year.

Maple Leaf to Resume Operating to Toronto

June 25, 2022

Amtrak said on Friday that its Maple Leaf train will resume operating between New York and Toronto on June 27.

The train has been operating only between New York and Niagara Falls, New York, since March 2020 due to restrictions on international travel imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said passengers crossing the border will need to follow standard entry documentation requirements as well as fulfill additional requirements imposed by the governments of the United States and Canada.

Passengers traveling to the United States who are not U.S. citizens must be fully vaccinated with a U.S. FDA or WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine.

Passengers traveling into Canada must use the ArriveCAN app before travel and wear a facial mask while aboard the train traveling within Canada and in Canadian railroad stations.

Non-Canadian citizens must be fully vaccinated and carry the vaccination record that was uploaded into ArriveCAN.

Required documents include the following as well as copy of an ArriveCAN receipt: Passports and travel documents; visas required by foreign nationals to enter Canada; valid permanent resident cards; travel documents issued to permanent residents abroad to facilitate their return to Canada; single journey travel documents issued to refugees selected abroad for resettlement in Canada; travel documents issued by Canada to persons on whom the Government of Canada has conferred protection as refugees or protected persons.

The service advisory noted that minor children are subject to the same travel document and visa requirements as adults.

More information about the ArriveCan program is available at the website of VIA Rail Canada at

VIA operates the Maple Leaf between Toronto and Niagara Falls, Ontario.

An Announcement That Didn’t Announce Much About When International Service Would Resume

January 5, 2022

Amtrak recently announced that it is working to resume serving Canada with its Maple Leaf (New York-Toronto), Adirondack (New York-Montreal) and Cascades Service (Seattle-Vancouver) but didn’t say when those services would be restored.

The service advisory posted at Amtrak’s website only said it hoped the services could resume in early 2022.

The advisory said the passenger carrier said it is working with federal agencies on the matter.

The announcement did say that Thruway bus service provided by Cantrail resumed on Dec. 1 between Seattle and Vancouver with a stop in Richmond, British Columbia.

VIA to Run Canadian Across Canada Again

April 15, 2021

VIA Rail Canada will reinstate the Canadian between Toronto and Vancouver on May 17 with one roundtrip per week.

The train has been operating only between Vancouver and Winnipeg for the past several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first westbound trip from Toronto will depart on May 23.

The Canadian will offer coach and sleeping car accommodations in roomettes and bedrooms. However, no berths will be sold and Prestige Class remains suspended through Sept. 15.

Due to health regulations there will be no access to such common areas as lounge cars and domes.

Sleeping car passenger will be able to make reservations for breakfast and dinner in the diner, but lunch will be served in passenger rooms. Coach passengers will be offered food and beverages from a cart.

VIA said the Montreal-Halifax Ocean continues to be suspended indefinitely. Service between Prince Rupert, British Columbia, and Jasper will operate weekly without the Touring Class Panorama dome.

Sleepers remain suspended on Winnipeg-Churchill, Manitoba, trains through Sept. 15.

Passengers who had booked trips on trains that have been canceled will receive refunds without financial penalty.

CN Signal Work Sends VIA onto Freight-Only Line

December 1, 2020

VIA Rail Canada trains recently operated over a freight-only stretch of track in Ontario, thus giving rare mileage riders some bonus coverage.

VIA normally uses the Canadian National Oakville Subdivision in the Toronto region but it was closed for two days for signal and infrastructure work.

That sent VIA detouring over the Halton Subdivision. Affected were VIA trains Nos. 71, 72, 75, and 7.

The reoute added 30 minutes to their schedules and they were able to continue stopping in Aldershot, Brantford, Ingersoll, Woodstock, London, Glencoe, Chatham, and Windsor.

The 25-mile freight-only segment used by VIA detours was between Silver and Burlington West, 25 miles.

CN rebuilt it in 1964 for use as a cutoff to bypass downtown Toronto and to reroute freight traffic to Toronto’s Macmillan Yard.

Milton, Ontario, in the middle of that freight-only section is served by GO Transit commuter service on CP Rail’s Galt Subdivision but the CN route has never had regular passenger service since the upgrade aside from a few passenger reroutes every few years.

Ontario High-Speed Funding on Hold

April 21, 2019

Funding for high-speed rail service between Toronto and Windsor, Ontario, is on hold.

Ontario transportation policy makers have cited fiscal issues for delaying funding of the project that would cut the running time between the two cities from four hours to two.

The project had been expected to be completed by 2031.

“We’re dealing with a deficit and a huge debt so we want to make sure we’re going to make the right investments going forward,” said Transportation minister Jeff Yurek said.

An environment assessment of the project will continue, Yurek said, noting that the province will reveal a transportation plan for Southwest Ontario later this year.

Amtrak Eyes Detroit-Toronto Corridor

April 3, 2019

Among the recent items that Amtrak identified in its fiscal year 2020 budget request to Congress was restoration of service to Toronto from the Midwest.

However, the carrier has no firm plans to do that and merely listed it as a potential new corridor.

The budget shows the corridor as being anchored at its west end by Detroit.

“Amtrak is exploring places it can modernize and expand its services and network,” Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said. “A Chicago/Western Michigan–Detroit–Toronto corridor is one of the services where we see promise.”

Amtrak has never operated between Detroit and Toronto. It operated between Chicago and Toronto via East Lansing and Flint, Michigan, between October 31, 1982, and April 23, 2004.

During that time it operated as the International Limited and later, simply the International.

Over the years various proposals were made to reroute the International within Michigan, including via Detroit.

Amtrak’s Network Growth Strategy plan called for rerouting the International via Detroit in fall 2000, but that was never implemented.

Amtrak’s FY 2020 budget proposal does not specify how much money it needs to establish the Detroit-Toronto corridor.

Through intercity rail passenger service between Detroit and Toronto ended in the 1960s.