VIA Rail to recall 1,000 employees as service resumes this weekend

Mar 5 2020, 7:41 am

VIA Rail will resume most of its train service this weekend after weeks of blockades from solidarity protests across the country.

According to VIA Rail, on Saturday, March 7, all services between Toronto-Montréal and Toronto-Ottawa are available, with the exception of trains 45 and 655, which will be resuming the day after on Sunday, March 8.

VIA Rail also confirmed that the transcontinental train, Canadian which passes through Union Station, will resume with its normal schedule.

With the trains running, VIA Rail will continue to call back the vast majority of the 1,000 employees affected by the temporary suspensions announced on February 19.

“As we begin to resume all of our operations, our services may take some time to get back to normal,” VIA Rail said. “We may experience trip delays and late departure times, our seat availabilities may be limited, and the wait time to speak with an agent on the phone might be longer than usual.”

Travellers will be able to cancel or modify reservations at any time prior to departure during the month of March without getting any service fees. This includes all travel up to and including March 31, 2020, and any travel after March 31, 2020, if their outbound train is on or before March 31, 2020.

The train service was affected because of solidarity protests with the Wet’suwe’ten in British Columbia, who have been fighting the construction of a gas pipeline in their transitional territory.

With the recent news of government ministers deciding to reach a tentative agreement on rights and title with a group of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, it appears that blockades will not be affecting VIA Rail to the same degree as the previous weeks.