Posts Tagged ‘VIA Quebec-Windsor Corridor’

VIA to Increase Corridor Service

July 11, 2020

VIA Rail Canada will increase the level of service in its Quebec City-Montreal-Ottawa corridor by a single roundtrip starting July 14.

The passenger carrier said the additional trains reflect an increase in travel demand “resulting from the progressive deconfinement implemented by public health authorities in Québec and Ontario.”

New train No. 35, is scheduled to depart Quebec City at 8 a.m., arrive in Montreal at 11:35 a.m. and in Ottawa at 2:15 p.m.

Train No. 28 is scheduled to leave Ottawa at 4:15 p.m., arrive in Montreal at 6:05 p.m. and Quebec City at 9:54 p.m.

The new trains will bring service levels in the corridor up to two daily round trips.

VIA Carried 5M Passengers in 2019

June 24, 2020

VIA Rail Canada said this week it carried 5 million passengers last year, its highest ridership in 30 years and a 5.5 percent increase over 2018 levels.

The carrier said that 96 percent of passengers traveled for inter-city travel, 3 percent for long-distance travel and 1 percent for regional travel.

The Quebec City-Windsor Corridor recorded ridership of 4.7 million riders, a 5.5 percent year-over-year increase.

Revenue for 2019 totaled CA$411.1 million, an increase of CA$18.5 million compared with 2018. Total operating expenses reached CA$691.8 million, a nearly CA$27 million increase.

VIA is not expecting 2020 ridership to be a bountiful due to substantial ridership declines during the COVID-19 pandemic and protest blockades earlier in the year that led to service suspensions.

“Our immediate challenge is to convince Canadians that we are the safe way to travel as our response to the COVID-19 virus evolves,” said VIA Rail President and CEO Cynthia Garneau said in a news release.

 

VIA Still Seeking Quebec-Windsor Increased Service

June 2, 2019

VIA Rail Canada is studying creating passenger-only route in the Quebec-Windsor, Ontario, but its new CEO has not committed to seeing the project through.

Cynthia Garneau said at the annual VIA public meeting that the carrier has created a committee to review the prospect of making parts of the corridor passenger only.

Garneau said VIA hopes to enter into what she termed “a new phase” before the end of the year.

One element of that “new phase” could be additional trains on existing Canadian National tracks now used by VIA in the corridor.

“This project is complex and ambitious and we continue to work with Transport Canada to capture its scope, to mitigate the risks,” she said. “The feedback we’ve been getting is encouraging. It will be using existing infrastructure, as you know, and existing rights-of-way all the way from Quebec City to Toronto.”

VIA’s former CEO, Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, has called for higher service frequency in the corridor.

During the meeting, VIA executives said that revenue was up 7.4 percent and ridership up 8 percent last year.

VIA expects to continue emphasizing its corridor service because it accounts for 95 percent of the carrier’s ridership.

Plans are underway to assign new single-level cars and locomotives to corridor service.

During a question and answer session, VIA management said it expects to resume tri-weekly service by the Canadian between Toronto and Vancouver, British Columbia, by next spring after CN finishes increasing the capacity of the route used by the train.

Currently, VIA is operating one Canadian roundtrip only between Vancouver and Edmonton, Alberta.

VIA also plans to eventually resume going all the way to the end of track on the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec, but officials gave no date for that.

They noted that the government of Quebec is rebuilding the tracks on the route.

No plans are in the works for VIA to institute service in Western Canada to cities left behind by discontinue of bus service by Greyhound. VIA officials said the carrier does not “have the resources allocated to entertain any more services.”

Likewise, VIA management said that additional service in Southwest Ontario “is solely dependent on working with the infrastructure providers and intermodal partners to evaluate access.

Although the region shows great potential, VIA doesn’t expect to add service in the short term.