VIA Rail Announces Additional Service Changes

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Due to "a significant reduction in passenger volumes" as well as public health authorities reinforcing the importance of social distancing, VIA Rail Canada has announced service changes effective 23MAR, in effect until further notice. 

"These new measures we are announcing today are difficult, but the current situation is exceptional and calls for an exceptional response," said Cynthia Garneau, president and CEO of VIA Rail.

"Protecting the health and safety of our passengers and employees continues to be our focus so we are adjusting our operations to ensure we minimize the propagation of COVID-19 when traveling with VIA Rail. As a public service, we do what we can to maintain some of our services in the best possible conditions for as long as possible to help facilitate travel along the Corridor and on regional routes."

Here's a summary of VIA Rail services as of 23MAR:


The most recent updates are available on the VIA Rail website.


Here are some of the changes onboard trains and at stations:


On Board

  • Baggage service will no longer be available. 
  • The Business class will no longer be available in the Québec City-Windsor corridor. 
  • Sleeper Plus class will no longer be available on the Winnipeg-Churchill route. 
  • Seat selection will be flexible to allow passengers to travel in a more comfortable manner to follow the social distancing guidelines. Instructions will be provided once on board.


In Stations

  • VIA Rail's Business lounges will be closed. 
  • Restaurants in VIA Rail owned stations will be closed and customers will only have access to vending machines where available.


Extended Cancellation Policy

VIA Rail has extended its cancellation policy to include all travel through 31MAY, 2020. Pax can cancel or modify their reservation at any time prior to departure and receive a full refund without incurring service charges.


Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.

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