Discussion of Canadian Passenger Rail Services such as AMT (Montreal), Go Transit (Toronto), VIA Rail, and other Canadian Railways and Transit

Moderator: Ken V

  by Highball
Press Release December 20th, 2011........

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

Montreal – 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/cu ... n-schedule.

Customers should note that in addition to the changes highlighted here, other train times as well as train numbers will change. For the most part, the changes in this notice apply to weekday (Monday-Friday) operations. For more information on the new train schedules or to book a trip anywhere in the VIA system, customers can visit VIA’s secure Web site at viarail.ca. Passengers also can book their tickets by calling 1 888 VIA-RAIL (1 888 842-7245), or TTY 1 800 268-9503 (hearing impaired).

About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada’s national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada’s (http://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.
  by marquisofmississauga
It is interesting that there is actually one fewer train on the direct Toronto-Montreal route than before, i.e. five instead of six. The direct trains from Montreal to Toronto remain at six. These additional services to or from Montreal that run via Ottawa take up to 6 hours 47 minutes from Toronto to Montreal and 7 hours 21 minutes from Montreal to Toronto. So VIA is saying there are 10 departures from Montreal to Toronto, which is six direct and four via Ottawa. VIA is certainly not pointing out that from Toronto to Montreal there are only eight trains and that two of them are "J" trains (one section direct to Montreal and one via Ottawa) so in reality there are only six departure times in that direction.

These new trains are of benefit to passengers going between Toronto and Ottawa, though.