Failure to renew long-distance fleet would doom VIA Rail

By Transport Action | Intercity Rail and Bus

Feb 13

Transport Action has written to Canada’s ministers of Transport, Finance, and Infrastructure with a stark warning: Unless the government commits to funding the replacement of the long-distance train fleet, allowing procurement to start in 2024, all of VIA Rail Canada’s passenger train services outside the Windsor to Quebec City corridor will have to be withdrawn due to lack of serviceable equipment, starting in the early 2030s.

Combined with the government’s intent to outsource corridor operations and transfer revenue risk to the private sector partner for High Frequency Rail, that would mean the demise of VIA Rail. Is is already difficult to see how the remainder of VIA Rail could thrive separately from the corridor, but without modern and accessible equipment to replace the existing long-distance fleet before it reaches life expiry, it would be unable to continue to operate at all.

Take action – sign our petition

We are also supporting a petition to the House of Commons calling for the funding of the long-distance fleet, restoration of passenger train priority, and revisions to the High Frequency Rail project to protect VIA Rail’s role in delivering public passenger rail service along the Windsor to Quebec City corridor.

The full letter to ministers can be read below: