Resumption of Toronto – Winnipeg portion of The Canadian announced by VIA Rail
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
Via Rail Canada has announced the resumption of its passenger train services between Toronto and Winnipeg. The services are set to enable one full round-trip per week, starting May 17, with Sioux Lookout being one of the stops along the route.
The rail service had suspended its operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Via Rail shared in a press release that the resumption was made possible following a thorough evaluation of Via Rail’s health and safety protocols, including physical distancing measures, enhanced air ventilation system, and improved measures for passenger access and the protection of its employees. “Fully aware that there is currently an increase in COVID-19 cases, in the event of major changes related to the health crisis by the set resumption dates, VIA Rail will revise its service offering in line with the latest developments,” the release adds.
Via Rail President and CEO Cynthia Garneau shared in the release, “Over the past year, we have continuously sought to find a balance between offering to the best of our abilities essential travel options while following the guidelines and recommendations from public health authorities, as well as federal and provincial governments. With health and safety at the heart of our actions, the resumption of one full weekly round-trip service on the Canadian allows us to continue to provide an essential service to Canadians needing to travel on this route.”
The Corporation shared that it will continue to work on a safe resumption plan, collaborating with public health authorities, as well as the federal and provincial governments. This plan will be shared once finalized. Most recent updates, and further details regarding health and safety measures, as well as the modified services offered on board the Canadian are available on VIA Rail’s at https://bit.ly/2OV5EqE.
The corporation added that it continues to deploy a strict protocol of sanitary measures across the organization, and reminds passengers and employees of the importance of following public health recommendations, to avoid non-essential travel, practice physical distancing as much as possible, and to rigorously follow good hygiene practices.
The release clarifies that passengers that may be experiencing symptoms similar to a cold or flu, or may have been denied travel in the last 14 days due to COVID-19 medical reasons, will be denied boarding the trains.