FOR RELEASE: JULY 25, 2016
U.S. magazine paints disturbing portrait of VIA Rail
ST. MARYS, ONTARIO – The August 2016 issue of Trains magazine contains a thorough and disturbing examination of the state of VIA Rail Canada, the continuing lack of action by the federal government and numerous other problems facing our publicly-owned passenger railway.
Titled A Foggy Path, the in-depth feature article by noted rail journalist Bob Johnston portrays a passenger railway that is, despite VIA management’s endless rosy statements, struggling to survive. Of particular concern is VIA’s aging and inefficient rolling stock, which is described as “hanging on by a thread.”
In his interview with VIA CEO Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, Johnston asked if the Crown corporation would invoke certain sections of the Canada Transportation Act to require CN to improve its handling of VIA’s trains, which has been abysmal and has badly damaged on-time performance. VIA’s CEO replied, “I believe if we appealed to the Canadian Transportation Agency we’d be successful. However, you can’t manage business relationships through court orders ….”
In preparing his VIA examination, Johnston inspected the route of VIA’s proposed $4-billion dedicated line between Ottawa and Toronto. What he found – and photographed – is a rolling and twisty route that Canadian Pacific abandoned 35 years ago and now serves as part of the Trans-Canada Trail, cutting through the middle of towns such as Tweed and Sharbot Lake.
The August issue of Trains is available on newsstands now or may be ordered directly from the publisher at https://kalmbachhobbystore.com/catalog/railroading.
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