VIA adds Ottawa trips

OBJ Staff
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Ottawa passengers travelling to and from Quebec City and Toronto by train now have more options, VIA Rail Canada announced Monday.

Two of VIA Rail's F40 locomotives, before and after an extensive refurbishment.

To meet the growing customer demand in the corridor between those three cities, VIA Rail will add four new trains per weekday and four more on weekends for a total of 28 new departures per week.

In addition to the changes, VIA Rail has created a new direct service between Quebec City and Ottawa. Previously, customers had to transfer trains to travel between the two cities.

There are now 14 daily routes for Ottawa travellers to get to and from Toronto, with increased frequencies on two previous routes.

The changes, which will take effect on Dec. 10, could attract more than 200,000 new passengers annually, VIA Rail said in a press release.

Monday marks the end of the program to rebuild the company’s F40 diesel locomotives, extending their life by 15 to 20 years at less than half the cost of purchasing new equipment. These upgraded locomotives, designed by CAD Railway Industries, now represent 70 per cent of VIA Rail’s fleet. The trains will eliminate up to 12 per cent of its greenhouse gas emissions, result in fuel savings of up to five million litres annually and reduce annual maintenance costs by 15 per cent.

The $100 million contract to rebuild the F40 locomotives was awarded in December 2007 and created 125 jobs at CAD.

Organizations: VIA Rail, Railway Industries

Geographic location: Ottawa, Quebec City, Toronto

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Recent comments

  • Peter Quinlan
    December 05, 2012 - 12:11

    VIA certainly has greatly improved in the past 10-15 years, however I wouldn't expect to see any "Bullet" trains in the forseeable future. The technology (& associated infrastructure) is way too expensive & we simply don't have the population numbers (like Spain, France, Japan, etc.) to support it. Having said this, travelling by train is much more comfortable than by air & it's unfortunate that Ottawa's Train Station isn't located right downtown.

  • Kevin
    December 04, 2012 - 17:33

    I don't travel by rail often, but the few times I have I totally enjoyed the experience. Belleville to Ottawa is a very comfortable ride.

  • Tracy
    December 04, 2012 - 10:05

    If there truly is an increase in routes and decrease in fairs it would be a perfect match for those who like to go to Montreal for the day or night at minimal cost. I think this is perfect and it's exactly that VIA needs to boots it's sales.

    • Nina
      December 04, 2012 - 20:23

      If VIA Rail service was anything close to Spain's incredibly fast (max speed of 330 km/h), efficient and inexpensive AVE/RENFE rail services, more people would even be taking the VIA to enjoy travel within Canada. For example, among one of their many routes across the country, AVE trains travel 621 km between Madrid and Barcelona in about 2 hours 30 minutes, with a top speed of 330 km/h. The quality of VIA train service needs improvement if we want to enjoy world class travel standards. The irony of it all is that our very own Bombardier developed the power cars for the high speed rail project for Spain, and was recently awarded the contract to participate in the development of a high speed rail project for the "pilgrim trains" linking Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. Excerpt from Bombardier's Press Release: "The technology is similar to that of the 46 AVE 102 and AVE 112 trains developed and manufactured for RENFE between 2001 and 2010. Bombardier has participated in the development of many of the world's leading high speed rail systems, including four different generations of TGV in France, the ICE trains used in Germany and the Netherlands, Italy's ETR 500 and V300ZEFIRO, Spain's AVE 102 and AVE 112, China's Xinshisu, the BOMBARDIER ZEFIRO family of high speed trains and the Acela in the USA." Let's hope that Via Rail is going in the right direction.

  • Mike
    December 03, 2012 - 12:34

    It seems like Via is finally heading in the right direction - lower prices, better service - maybe it's time for the revival of train service in Canada. I plan on doing my part as I enjoy train trips.