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Montreal-Halifax VIA Rail Trains Stranded

By Allan Dearing Jan 3, 2023 | 6:23 AM

Transport Action Atlantic (TAA) is calling for an independent inquiry over VIA Rail’s abysmal performance over the holiday season.

The transportation advocacy group said while there were service disruptions in Central Canada, hundreds of passengers were also stranded on the eastbound and westbound trains between Montreal and Halifax – for up to 30 hours.

CN owns the rail infrastructure and places priority on freight not passengers.

TAA blames CN for not clearing debris, such as trees, from the tracks near the Mont-Joli subdivision following a winter storm.

The eastbound train only got as far as Rivière-du-Loup while the westbound train was held at Campbellton and VIA eventually sent both trains back to their points of origin.

VIA reportedly provided full refunds and hotel accommodations for passengers originating from Montreal but they were forced to make alternate travel arrangements.

Transport Action Atlantic president Tim Hayman was among those stranded on VIA’s eastbound train and was forced to book a flight to his final destination, arriving in Halifax a day later than his original travel plans.

TAA is seeking an inquiry noting how trains should fare better than air or road travel during bad weather but that wasn’t the case this time.


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