Travel Advisory - Temporary Bus Replacing VIA's Victoria to Courtenay Train Service To Make Last Trip August 7

- VIA pursues $5.5M investment in refurbishing Vancouver Island RDC cars -

VICTORIA, July 7, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - VIA Rail Canada wishes to advise travellers that its temporary replacement bus service for its Victoria to Courtenay train will make its last trip on Sunday, August 7.

An inspection of the tracks and structures owned by the Island Corridor Foundation (ICF) between Victoria and Nanaimo was conducted jointly in early April by Southern Railway of Vancouver Island (SRVI), who operates the line on behalf of the ICF, the BC Safety Authority, the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and VIA.  Following that inspection, SRVI informed VIA of its decision that significant infrastructure improvement would be required before passenger rail service could resume on this route.

Since then, VIA has provided a temporary alternative bus service for passengers holding tickets or wishing to travel to communities normally served by train.  On average, fewer than 10 passengers per day are using this service, and the numbers have progressively grown smaller over time.

After the round-trip bus operates on August 7, VIA will no longer offer this replacement service.  Travellers will instead be able to use existing scheduled bus services.

VIA will remain in close contact with SRVI and the ICF in order to remain informed of when the required track maintenance and upgrades are expected to be carried out, and will keep its customers informed accordingly.

Despite this interruption of train service, VIA is continuing work on the refurbishment of the three (3) Rail Diesel Cars assigned to this route with a view to introducing the rebuilt cars once the line is reopened.  This investment is worth more than $5.5 million.

Customers wishing further information may visit viarail.ca or call 1 888-VIA RAIL (842-7245) or 1 888-842-6348. VIA will be providing specific links to other transportation providers' services once its temporary bus service stops running.

About VIA Rail Canada

As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada's mandate is to provide efficient and cost-effective passenger transportation to Canadian travelers - in both official languages.  Every week VIA operates 503 intercity, transcontinental and regional trains linking 450 communities across its 12,500-kilometre route network. The demand for VIA services is growing as travellers increasingly turn to train travel as a safe and reliable alternative to congested roads and airports. VIA safely transports over four million passengers annually. Find out more about VIA at viarail.ca.  Follow VIA at twitter.com/via_rail or facebook.com/viarailcanada.

For further information:

VIA Media contact: 
Malcolm Andrews
Media and Community Relations
514-871-6604
514-946-4160 (CELL)