Three of the five Via Rail routes, that come through Chatham-Kent, are being cut temporarily.
Officials with the train company say given the impact on travel demand of tighter COVID-19 restrictions due to the rapid spreading of the Omicron variant, VIA Rail Canada will temporarily reduce frequencies in the Québec City-Windsor corridor starting Wednesday, January 19, 2022.
“These decisions, while difficult, are consistent with the balanced approach we have maintained throughout the pandemic in order to fulfill our important public service mandate while proactively managing the financial impacts on our operations,” stated Cynthia Garneau, President and CEO of VIA Rail, in a media release.
“Every change we have made to our services has been, and continues to be, closely linked to the evolving health crisis and following market demand.”
The two remaining routes on the Toronto-London-Windsor corridor are the 72/76 and 73/75 services.
Via Rail officials say this temporary service reduction in the corridor has been carefully planned in order to continue to provide essential intercity service on all routes.
As they continue to closely monitor the evolution of the pandemic, VIA Rail is ensuring that they can offer their customers options for essential travel in all regions of the country, company officials say.
There will be no reduction in frequencies for the moment on any other routes, but some on-board services have been modified, Via Rail officials added.
VIA Rail Business class will be temporarily suspended, and Business lounges are closed until further notice.
For questions, customers may contact the VIA Customer Centre by email at email@example.com or by phone at 1-888-VIA-RAIL (1-888-842-7245), TTY 1-800-268-9503 (hearing impaired).
The VIA Customer Centre is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday to Friday and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) on weekends.
For a full list of changes to their services visit VIA Rail’s website, here.