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.