Special Canadian Series, Article 3 of 4: Fixing passenger rail

By King’s MJ Students, The Signal, University of King’s College School of Journalism, Halifax, Nova Scotia; August 6, 2019

Article 3 of 4 in a special series from the senior students of the University of King’s College School of Journalism in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

After years of federal neglect, fixing Via Rail’s chronic delays will be a steep climb, experts say – but several key moves could help to bring Canada’s transcontinental passenger rail service back on track.

From building physical capacity at key junctures to incentivizing CN to keep Via trains running on schedule, Ottawa has various tools at its disposal to push for better service on the cross-country Canadian train, whose on-time performance has plummeted in recent years. An analysis of Via’s online performance data by University of King’s College journalism students shows that despite a schedule change a year ago that added up to 13 hours to the Canadian’s travel times between Toronto and Vancouver, more than four in ten trains have still met Via’s standard for being late, arriving at their final destinations more than an hour behind schedule.

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