COVID-19: London, Ont. among regions to see reduced VIA Rail service

VIA Rail announced Thursday that it is reducing frequencies in the Quebec City-Windsor corridor, including routes that stop in London, Ont., beginning Wednesday, Jan. 19.

Business class will also be temporarily suspended and business lounges will be closed “until further notice,” the passenger rail service said. Alcohol service will be suspended on all trains.

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The changes, VIA Rail said, follow changes to “travel demand” resulting from tighter COVID-19 restrictions amid the Omicron wave.

“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,” president Cynthia Garneau said in a release announcing the service changes.

“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.”

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As of Friday, trains 70, 71, 72, 73, 75, 76, 78 and 79 travelled through Toronto-London-Windsor, trains 84 and 87 travelled through Toronto-London-Sarnia and trains 82 and 83 travelled through Toronto-London.

Beginning Wednesday, service through London will only include trains 72, 73, 75 and 76 for Toronto-London-Windsor and one daily departure in both directions for Toronto-London-Sarnia through trains 84 and 87.

A list of other impacted routes along the Quebec City-Windsor corridor can be found on VIA Rail’s website.

VIA Rail added that due to the reduction in trains, some stops will be added to select routes, which could result in longer trip times.

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