Update – Statement from VIA Rail on December 2022 Travel Disruptions

In Editor Choice, Local

(Today’s Northumberland file photo)

Today’s Northumberland has continued to reach out to VIA Rail for an interview regarding a westbound VIA Rail train that was stranded in Cobourg for several hours over the Christmas break with reports of passengers having to ration water and washrooms not being usable.

On Tuesday, January 10, 2023, VIA Rail issued the following statement below:

VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) issued the following statement on Tuesday, January 10, 2023 regarding the travel delays and train cancellations which occurred from December 23 to December 26:

The daily mission of our 3,200 employees is to put passengers first, and we are committed to providing Canadians with a train service that meets their expectations. While we take pride in the fact that the safety and well-being of our passengers and our staff was always our priority and front and centre in our decision-making, we also believe that we should have done better in dealing with the situation. We are truly sorry for letting our passengers down.

We know, we should have been more forthcoming in sharing information about trains that were delayed and in communicating updates. We also know we should have adopted a different approach in supporting passengers on trains that were delayed for lengthy periods.

Therefore, in addition to offering a full refund to passengers, along with travel credits for those whose trains were completely immobilized, we will be reviewing our performance over the four-day period with the help of outside experts. We will be looking at a wide range of issues including our planning for the storm, our operational response, protocol around customer care and our overall communications as well as how we can better accommodate our passengers in order to get them to their destination.

Beyond not having met the expectations of our customers, we have not lived up to our own standards. Despite weather events and a freight train derailment beyond our control, it is clear that lessons will be learned, and changes will be made. We truly hope the passengers who were affected by these disruptions will travel with us again soon so we can show them what VIA Rail is all about: Offering a safe, accessible, comfortable, and sustainable travel experience and a remarkable service for which we are known and loved.”

– Martin R Landry, President and Chief Executive Officer at VIA Rail Canada.

About VIA Rail

As Canada’s national rail passenger service, VIA Rail (viarail.ca) and all its employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional, and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada, and about 180 more communities through intermodal partnerships, and safely transported over 5 million passengers in 2019. The Corporation has been awarded nine Safety Awards and three Environment Awards by the Railway Association of Canada since 2005. Visit the “About VIA Rail” section at https://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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