Friday, March 04, 2011

VIA Rail Interruption

VIA Rail Skyline car
VIA Rail paused service on its transcontinental train, the Canadian, earlier this week due to a problem with a CN freight train that blocked the route of the passenger train.

The eastbound Canadian, VIA 2, normally arrives in Winnipeg on Tuesday night by 8:30 PM. Instead, it was held up near Rivers, Manitoba and spent about 15 hours there. Passengers were provided complimentary meals and made the best of it.

I heard someone on the scanner talking to "VIA 2" on Wednesday afternoon and I was sure I had misheard it, but it was indeed the Canadian coming into Winnipeg well over 12 hours late.

VIA elected to turn the Canadian at Winnipeg to make it the next VIA 1 for Thursday. Passengers were offered the option of flying to Toronto to arrive around the same time they would have if the train had not been delayed, or waiting in Winnipeg for the next eastbound Canadian and staying in free hotels until then. Most took the latter option. Passengers also received a 50 percent travel credit.

Service resumed on Thursday.

I feel VIA made the best of a bad situation and took good care of their passengers. Not every transportation company would have gone so far to "make things right".

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