MONTRÉAL, Aug. 19, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - VIA Rail Canada (viarail.ca) is proud to announce that the Canadian leaving Vancouver tonight will include, for the very first time, a newly renovated Park car featuring an accessible cabin designed for people with disabilities. This new cabin is a testament to VIA Rail's continued commitment to improving the accessibility of its services in order to ensure the safety and comfort of all its passengers.
The new accessible cabin for two was designed following extensive research of accessibility requirements within the transportation industry. In total, four Park cars used on the Canadian will be reconfigured to include a fully accessible cabin. "VIA Rail is committed to pursuing the improvement of accessibility on all its services. We are proud to now offer a cabin on board the Canadian between Toronto and Vancouver with a level of comfort designed specifically for our mobility reduced passengers," declared Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, President and Chief Executive Officer of VIA Rail Canada, "from Halifax to Vancouver, VIA Rail is able to accommodate persons with disabilities on board all its trains."
Passengers wishing to reserve this cabin may do so by telephone at the toll-free number 1 888 VIA RAIL (1 888 842-7245) or 1 800 268-9803 (hearing impaired), through a travel agency or at the station.
Accessibility investments over the past few years
The newly reconfigured Park cars are amongst many other initiatives undertaken by VIA Rail to improve the accessibility of its services.
Over the past few years, VIA Rail has invested in building new accessible stations and renovating stations in order to improve the accessibility of its facilities.
The corporation has also improved accessibility to its rolling stock on other routes. Renaissance cars, used on the Ocean (Montreal–Halifax), were reconfigured to include an Economy class car wheelchair tie-down, an accessible bathroom and a fully accessible sleeper cabin on each departure. Furthermore, each Renaissance Economy class car was modified to offer seating for passengers travelling with a service animal, and fold-up armrests were installed on 2 two-person seats as well as 4 individual alley seats.
Two rail diesel cars (RDC) were recently modified for accessibility, one of which is currently in use on the Sudbury-White River route. VIA Rail also has an accessible Economy class car on each of its LRC train consists.
As well, VIA Rail's web site at viarail.ca was optimized in 2012, enabling people with disabilities to better access information on the site.
About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada and its 2,500 employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking 450 communities across its 12,500 km network, 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, and was the recipient of the 2012 Agent's Choice Award voted by Canadian travel agents and presented by Baxter Travel Media. Since 2007, the Government of Canada has invested almost a billion dollars in VIA Rail. Read more about our transformation at http://www.viarail.ca/TransformingVIA/.
Image with caption: "VIA Rail's new Accessible Cabin (CNW Group/VIA Rail Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140819_C3889_PHOTO_EN_4906.jpg
Image with caption: "VIA Rail's new Accessible Cabin (CNW Group/VIA Rail Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140819_C3889_PHOTO_EN_4907.jpg
SOURCE: VIA Rail Canada Inc.