VIA Rail Reaffirms Commitment to the Environment through Earth Day Partnership


    MONTREAL, April 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Reaffirming its commitment to the
environment, VIA Rail Canada has announced that it will partner with Earth Day
Quebec to raise public awareness of the challenges facing all Canadians in
light of climate change and other pressing environmental issues. VIA Rail has
also begun a series of modifications and improvements to its equipment and
operations in order to reduce the corporation's ecological footprint.

    Raising Awareness on Environmental Issues

    Among the activities planned for Earth Day on April 22, VIA Rail and Cité
Rock Détente will host an event in Montreal's Central Station aimed at helping
the public learn more about how they can contribute to a sustainable future.
In addition, there will be a contest live on the radio, starting at 5:30 AM
and running until 1:00 PM, where winners will receive travel credits on VIA's
network.
    "I am proud that VIA has established a partnership with Earth Day
Quebec," said VIA Rail's President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Côté.
"When you think about it, our partnership is quite logical. The train is an
ecological and responsible choice of transportation ... a green choice ...
which has the potential to play an increasingly important role in our efforts
to move towards a greener future. However, an effort of this magnitude goes
well beyond rail transportation. We must all do our part and set an example
for others," added Mr. Côté.
    "At VIA, employees are invited to do their part and take concrete
measures to protect the environment," confirmed Mr. Côté. "It has become a
cornerstone of our corporate culture where each department takes active
measures to reduce waste, to re-use materials and recycle."

    Improving VIA's Environmental Performance

    "We are constantly improving the environmental performance of our
operations," stated John Marginson, VIA's Chief Operating Officer. Since 1990,
VIA Rail has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by over 15%. That represents
some 31,000 tonnes of CO2, which is equivalent to 10 million litres of fuel.
"We are aiming to reduce our ecological footprint even further by rebuilding
54 of our older locomotives. This will allow us to save 5 million litres of
fuel each year. The implications are that by 2020 we will have reduced our
greenhouse gas emissions by 150 thousand tonnes," added Mr. Marginson.

    About VIA Rail Canada

    As Canada's national passenger rail service, VIA Rail Canada's mandate is
to provide efficient, environmentally responsible and cost effective passenger
transportation services, both in Canada's business corridor and in remote and
rural regions of the country. Serving more than 450 communities with a network
of inter-city, transcontinental and regional trains, demand for rail services
continues to grow as more Canadians turn to train travel as a safe and
convenient travel choice.



For further information: Media contacts: Malcolm Andrews, Corporate
Communications, (514) 871-6604, malcolm_andrews@viarail.ca; Eric Nadeau,
Corporate Communications, (514) 871-6119, eric_nadeau@viarail.ca