VIA Rail temporarily reducing train service in southwestern Ontario

Via Rail Canada. (File photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News)

Via Rail is temporarily cutting the number of trains serving parts of southwestern Ontario.

As of next Wednesday, three of the five trains on the Windsor-London-Toronto route are being eliminated. The two remaining trains on that corridor are the #72/76 and #73/75.

The national passenger railway announced the reduced train frequency Thursday afternoon as it deals with a decrease in ridership linked to the Omicron variant case surge.

“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,” VIA President and CEO Cynthia Garneau said in a statement. “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.”

Train service on the Sarnia-London-Toronto route will continue to operate as normal with one departure per day.

A handful of on-board services are also being modified to help prevent spread of the virus. VIA stated it is temporarily suspending its business class and alcohol service and is closing its business lounges. Face coverings and full COVID-19 vaccination remain mandatory for passengers.

More information on train schedules and pandemic safety measures can be found by clicking here.