Improved VIA Rail schedules: More departures - More passengers

- Additional Montreal-Ottawa & Ottawa-Toronto departures -
- NEW express trains: Ottawa-Toronto in 3 hours 57 minutes -

MONTREAL, Dec. 20, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - In response to customer demand, VIA Rail Canada will introduce new schedules in the Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto triangle, effective January 24, 2012. These important changes will attract some 100,000 new passengers annually.  The increased ridership will lead to an increase in revenues of several million dollars per year. This will reduce the need for government operating funding, good news for Canadian taxpayers.

Passengers on VIA's new Ottawa-Toronto express trains will make the non-stop journey in just three hours and 57 minutes. These new trains will operate every day except Saturday, leaving Toronto and Ottawa in late afternoon.

Customers will also have the option of a new late evening departure from Ottawa for Montreal (Sunday through Friday), allowing them to extend their stay in Ottawa beyond the dinner hour. Ottawa-bound travellers from Montreal will also have more end-of-day choices.

Passengers travelling from Montreal to Toronto will be offered two new trains, bringing the total number of weekday departures to Toronto to ten.

"These improvements are made possible by the federal government's major capital investment in VIA," said Paul G. Smith, VIA's chairman.  "We want to thank the government for their confidence in VIA as a green transportation choice, and their vision for a continued vital role for passenger rail in Canada."

"Since 2007, the Government of Canada has invested $923 million in VIA for capital improvement initiatives," said Minister of State (Transport) Steven Fletcher  "Over $400 million of this funding is dedicated to rail infrastructure projects, much of this from the government's Economic Action Plan.  Today's announcement is a good example of how Canadians are now going to benefit directly from these investments."

VIA's President and CEO Marc Laliberté added: "Over the coming year, we will complete other major rail infrastructure projects between Toronto and Brockville, allowing us to further improve reliability, and introduce more improvements, such as better trip times and more departures, including additional express trains between Toronto and Montreal."

In order to make these changes, VIA will be reorganizing its fleet distribution and adjusting other train schedules to better align them with traffic patterns and customer preferences. As VIA keeps moving forward, it will continue to evaluate market response and demand, and may make additional adjustments if warranted.

More details on the schedule changes are available in the attached backgrounder document or at http://www.viarail.ca/en/useful-info/customize-your-train-schedule.

About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada's (www.viarail.ca) mandate is to provide efficient, more environmentally sustainable and cost-effective passenger transportation, in the country's two official languages. Every week, VIA operates 503 intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking 450 communities across its 12,500-kilometre route network. Winner of the 2011 RAC Safety Award, VIA transports over four million passengers annually. Since 2007, the Government has invested nearly one billion dollars in VIA in order to improve and revitalize Canada's rail passenger service for the future. Learn more at http://www.viarail.ca/transformingVIA. Follow VIA on Twitter at twitter.com/via_rail. Visit VIA on Facebook at facebook.com/viarailcanada.



Backgrounder

January 24, 2012 Schedule Changes - Highlights by City
  Westbound
Eastbound
Montreal New afternoon departure to Ottawa New option from Toronto (16:30)
Two new options to Toronto (12:50 & 16:00) New express service from Ottawa
Now direct service Fallowfield (2); Smiths Falls (1) New express late-evening train from Ottawa (Dep. 20:32; Arr. 22:20)
Cancellation of Toronto-bound Train 69 Cancellation of Train 68 from Toronto (Arr. 00:16)
Dorval New afternoon departure to Ottawa New option from Toronto (Dép. 16:30)
Two new options to Toronto (12:50 & 16:00) New express late-evening train from Ottawa (Dep. 20:32; Arr. 22:00)
Now direct service Fallowfield (2); Smiths Falls (1) Cancellation of Train 68 from Toronto (23:49)
Cancellation of Toronto-bound Train 69  
Coteau nil nil
Cornwall Cancellation of Toronto-bound Train 69 Cancellation of Montreal-bound Train 68
Alexandria New direct express to Toronto nil
Direct service to more cities west of Ottawa through to
Toronto (+2)
 
Casselman Direct service to more cities west of Ottawa through to Toronto (+1) nil
Ottawa New nonstop express to Toronto (Dep. 1706; Arr. 2103) New nonstop express from Toronto (Dep. 16:20; Arr. 20:17)
New train to Toronto (+ 5 stops) New express night train to Montréal/Drvl (20:32)
New train from Montréal / Dorval  
Fallowfield New train from Montreal / Dorval nil
Now direct services from Montreal & other cities (2)  
New train to Toronto (& other cities)  
Smiths Falls Direct service from Montréal / Dorval / Alexandria nil
Brockville New train to Toronto Cancellation of Montreal-bound Train 68
  Direct services from Alexandria / Casselman  
Cancellation of Toronto-bound Train 69  
Gananoque nil Cancellation of Montreal-bound Train 68
Kingston New train to Toronto Train 650 (22:30) to move to 18:35 departure from Toronto
Now direct services from Alexandria / Casselman (+2) Cancellation of Montreal-bound Train 68
Cancellation of Toronto-bound Train 69  
Napanee Napanee added as stop on train  651 at 05:54 to Toronto Napanee added as stop on train 650 (18:35 departure from Toronto)
Removed stops on trains 51 and 63  
Belleville Now direct service from Alexandria Train 650 (22:30) to move to 18:35 departure from Toronto
Cancellation of Toronto-bound Train 69  
   
Trenton Jct. nil Trenton Jct. added as stop on train 650 (18:35 departure from Toronto)
  Cancellation of Montreal-bound Train 68 (20:20)
Cobourg New train to Toronto / Oshawa at 18:30 Train 650 (22:30) to move to 18:35 departure from Toronto
New train leaving mid-pm (15:13) from Ottawa Cancellation of Montreal-bound Train 68 (19:51)
Direct service from Alexandria & Casselman  
Cancellation of Toronto-bound Train 69 (22:23)  
Port Hope Removed stop # 51 Train 650 (22:30) to move to 18:35 departure from Toronto
  Cancellation of Montreal-bound Train 68 (19:42)
Oshawa New train leaving mid-pm (15:13) from Ottawa Train 650 (22:30) to move to 18:35 departure from Toronto
New evening train to Toronto (19:09) Cancellation of Montreal-bound Train 68
Direct services from Alexandria & Casselman (+2)  
Cancellation of Toronto-bound trains 71 (06:20) and 69 (22:59)  
Guildwood Now direct service from Alexandria Cancellation of Montreal-bound Train 68
Cancellation of Toronto-bound Train 69 (23:17) Train 650 to Train 69 time slot
Toronto New nonstop 3-hr 57-min express train from Ottawa (dep. 17:06; arr. 21:03) New nonstop 3-hr 57-min express train to Ottawa (dep. 16:20; arr. 2017)
Two new options from Montreal daily Train 650 (22:30) to move to 18:35 departure from Toronto
New train leaving mid-pm (15:13) from Ottawa New option to Montreal (16:30)
Now direct service from Alexandria/ Casselman Cancellation of Montreal-bound Train 68
Cancellation of train 69 from Montreal (arr. 23:36)  
For further information:

Media contacts:

Malcolm Andrews
514 871-6604
Malcolm_Andrews@viarail.ca
  Michelle Lamarche
514 871-6137
Michelle_Lamarche@viarail.ca