MONTRÉAL, April 24, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) has partnered once again with Operation Lifesaver for Rail Safety Week (April 24-30) as part of the Corporation's ongoing efforts to keep the public safe around railways. The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, and Stephen Covey, Chair, Board of Directors, Operation Lifesaver, joined Françoise Bertrand, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of VIA Rail and Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, President and Chief Executive Officer of VIA Rail, at press conference today in Montréal Central Station for the official launch of the 2017 campaign.
As part of Rail Safety Week, VIA Rail has planned passenger safety blitzes at several of its stations across the country such as Halifax, Quebec City, St-Hyacinthe, Montreal, Kingston, Belleville, Cobourg, Guildwood, Toronto, Jasper and Kamloops. Informational kiosks will be set up and staffed by VIA Rail and CN employees, Operation Lifesaver volunteers, and representatives of regional partners like AMT, in Montreal. These kiosks will use Operation Lifesaver's new "Look, Listen, Live" first-person virtual reality video campaign to educate the public about the hazards surrounding railways by showing them firsthand what it's like to have a close call with a train. The videos challenge some of the most common myths about trains: that a train can stop on a dime, and that you can always see or hear a train coming.
Rail Safety Week, now in its 15th year, is organized by Operation Lifesaver, a public-rail safety program sponsored by Transport Canada and the Railway Association of Canada that aims to educate Canadians about the importance of acting with extreme caution around railways.
"Safety is at the heart of everything we do at VIA Rail," explained Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, President and Chief Executive Officer at VIA Rail. "Our primary public safety focus is on the importance of preventing injury and increasing safety awareness. Most incidents involving our trains occur when people trespass on rail property or take unnecessary risks when crossing the tracks. Thanks to ongoing safety awareness campaigns from associations like Operation Lifesaver, the number of crossing accidents involving VIA Rail trains has generally been declining since 2010."
As part of its public outreach, VIA Rail also actively engages with communities about its infrastructure projects to ensure that the public understands where projects are underway and the types of safety precautions to take.
About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail (viarail.ca) and its 2,700 employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada, and about 180 more communities through intermodal partnerships, and safely transports nearly four million passengers annually. The Corporation was awarded seven Safety Awards by the Railway Association of Canada over the last eight years. For more information, visit: www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail.
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For further information: Mariam Diaby, Media Relations, VIA Rail Canada, 514 871-6010, 1 877 393-8787, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com