January 25, 2022
VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) reports that, between July and September, it continued to implement its gradual service resumption plan, increasing service levels to over 50% in the Québec City-Windsor corridor and reintroducing one weekly round trip on the Ocean route. As a result of these measures along with an increase in travel demand, VIA Rail recorded a rise in ridership and passenger revenues of 117% and 183% respectively during the third quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year.
“It is undeniable that COVID-19 has brought its share of challenges. Throughout this crisis, we remain focused on bringing VIA Rail back to where it was before the pandemic and beyond,” said Cynthia Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer. “The milestones reached in the past quarter, as well as the recent announcement of the final phase of our gradual service resumption – which will start with the return of the Ocean’s second frequency – are encouraging. They remind us that we are slowly but surely on the right track to continue doing what we do best: serving Canadians from coast to coast to coast.”Cynthia Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer
A decisive quarter for VIA Rail’s modernization program
During the third quarter, the Corporation made significant advances regarding the High Frequency Rail (HFR) project and the Québec City-Windsor corridor Fleet Replacement Program.
In July, the government of Canada announced that it was taking the first steps in preparing for the procurement process for the High Frequency Rail project, which would, amongst others, include engaging Indigenous groups and communities to obtain feedback on the project. Furthermore, VIA Rail welcomed in September the first trainset of its new Corridor fleet, which will undergo a series of dynamic, static and winter tests until the third quarter of 2022.
“When it comes to our modernization program, VIA Rail is definitely at a crossroads: one that will allow us to play a crucial role in the future of sustainable mobility in Canada,” said Cynthia Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer. “With these large-scale projects like the HFR proposal and the new Corridor fleet, we are welcoming Canadians to a new era of passenger rail service. We are eager to continue moving forward on this path as we are determined to keep being the smarter way to move people.”Cynthia Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer
VIA Rail earns CAE Silver, Mental Health at Work certification
The Corporation was awarded the Canada Awards for Excellence (CAE) in “the Mental Health at Work” category. This realization is the highest recognition of organizational excellence in the country and highlights VIA Rail’s ongoing commitment to supporting the well-being of its employees in a variety of ways. Over the past years, the Corporation has launched a number of initiatives to promote health and wellness in the workplace such as the implementation of health tools and resources and the creation of a network of VIA Rail Wellness Ambassadors.
Sign Languages videos on VIA Rail’s website
VIA Rail is determined to contribute to the creation of a barrier-free Canada. As such, in early 2022, it will be the first Crown Corporation to offer sign languages videos on its website. These videos, which were produced in collaboration with our partners at Canadian Hearing Services, will explain where to find practical and important information on our website in order to help people with travelling autonomously and safely.
VIA Rail’s current Corridor fleet will be replaced by Siemens Venture trainsets and will operate in the Québec City – Windsor corridor, VIA Rail’s busiest route, which represented 96% of its ridership in 2019.
- Powered by Siemens Charger locomotives, which are equipped with a proven propulsion system powered by a fuel-efficient Cummins QSK95, 16-cylinder diesel engine providing 4200 hp.
- The engine feeds an alternator and the IGBT traction converters provide single axle control for operation of up to 201 km/h (125 mph)* while meeting the latest EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Tier 4 emission standards.