- VIA Rail announced on March 15, 2020, that it will be reducing its routes by 50% in Quebec City – Windsor corridor, until at least March 27.
- Two Montreal routes will be affected by this decision.
- Get more information below.
Any Montrealer that has an upcoming trip booked with VIA Rail should be checking their emails vigilantly for the next little while. On the official VIA Rail website, it is stated that "as a result of significant reductions in passenger volumes experienced in the last week, combined with the need to deploy our resources to more effectively deal with the pandemic, as of Tuesday, March 17, services will be reduced by 50 % in the Quebec City – Windsor corridor."
This advisory was released on March 15, 2020, at 2 p.m.
Anyone trying to make their way to and from Montreal will see a reduced frequency in both the Montreal – Toronto and Quebec City – Montreal – Ottawa routes, beginning on Tuesday, March 17, until at least March 27.
And for any Ontarians reading this, the Toronto – Ottawa and Toronto – London – Windsor routes will also be seeing their frequency cut in half during this time.
It's clearly stated on the VIA Rail website that all customers with upcoming trips will be receiving communications about their status starting March 15, 2020. So, if you have a train ticket book for the upcoming weeks, make sure to keep yourself updated on the potential changes to it.
The overnight trains from Montreal – Halifax and Toronto – Vancouver began being cancelled on March 13, 2020.
You can read the full advisory about VIA Rail reducing some of its routes due to coronavirus here.
You may also cancel your trip and receive a full reimbursement by filling out the form here.
VIA Rail has also begun to take many precautionary measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in both its trains and stations.
The company's recent public advisory tells us that "as of March 17, VIA Rail will be also introducing a modified meal service aboard its trains. In line with the health authorities' social distancing guidelines, we will limit the amount of staff and passenger interaction to a minimum and this will include our meal service."
The company is also increasing the cleaning of trains and stations, providing hand sanitizer to clients and employees at major points of contact, and has a committee closely monitoring the "level of risk associated with COVID-19."
Information on hygiene practices during the pandemic is available on the Government of Canada's website here.