Via Rail to start running trains in Canada again this week
Via Rail will resume partial service on Thursday, February 20 after cancelling trains over the weekend in response to the Wet'suwet'en blockades.
The Canadian rail service — which regularly operates 500 trains a week from coast-to-coast — was forced to temporarily cancel its services between Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec City.
The blockades have drawn crowds of 400+ people.
On Saturday Feb 15th, around 50 people snuck onto some train tracks in Vaughan, Ontario (just north of Toronto) and shut down the second biggest rail yard in Canada. #ShutDownCanada #WetsuwetenStrong #ReconciliationIsDead #RCMPOut pic.twitter.com/z4HUuDMZXk— submedia (@submedia) February 16, 2020
However, Via Rail has confirmed that it will now resume some services despite the interruptions.
2/2 All other VIA Rail services remain cancelled with the exception of Sudbury-White River (CP Rail) and Churchill-The Pas (Hudson Bay Railway), until further notice. To check your train status visit: https://t.co/Rh6uUaZKzI— VIA_Rail (@VIA_Rail) February 18, 2020
Via Rail says service from Ottawa on trains 22, 24, 26 and 28 and service from Quebec City on trains 33, 35, 37 and 39 will resume on Thursday morning.
Although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau initially refused to force an end to the railway blockades, he later cancelled his meetings in Barbados to meet with government officials regarding the infrastructure disruptions.
Tomorrow morning, I’ll convene an Incident Response Group meeting with @MarcMillerVM, @Carolyn_Bennett, @MarcGarneau, @BillBlair, @cafreeland, @pablorodriguez & @Bill_Morneau to address infrastructure disruptions across the country & discuss the path forward. Details to follow.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) February 16, 2020
During the meeting, Trudeau urged ministers to resolve the situation in a "peaceful manner" and address underlying issues with the spirit of reconciliation.
In contrast, Minister of Transport Marc Garneau has openly condemned the blockades, calling any form of tampering with railways "illegal and extremely dangerous" in a statement on Monday.
“The dialogue continues as long as we feel that there is a chance and we're making progress,” said @MarcGarneau about discussions to end the blockades.— Jaro Giesbrecht🇨🇦 (@JaroGiesbrecht) February 18, 2020
“But we can’t do it forever.”#Cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/101WWy6FHO
Via Rail's cancellations affected 83,000+ Canadian passengers. The company has not confirmed when full services will resume.
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