MONTREAL — VIA Rail will not resume transcontinental passenger service as previously planned as a second wave of COVID-19 cases is seen in parts of Canada, the railroad announced Friday. It had previously hoped to resume service on its two flagship trains, the Canadian between Toronto and Vancouver and the Ocean between Montreal and Halifax, on Nov. 1. VIA has not operated either of the trains since March when the pandemic began to impact North America.
“Please know that we will continue to closely monitor the spread of COVID-19 and remain in close contact with public health authorities as well as the federal and provincial governments. Our desire is to offer all of our services to Canadians as quickly as possible under optimal sanitary conditions,” said Cynthia Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer.
VIA officials did not give a date for when they hope to resume service. While VIA is not operating its two transcontinental trains, it is still offering services between Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec City and rural communities where the passenger train is considered an essential service. In July, VIA laid off more than 1,000 employees.