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Via Rail extends suspension for major Prince George route in light of COVID-19

Infrastructure issues are also continuing between Prince Rupert, Jasper
(via Via Rail)

Passenger train service out of Prince George remains at a stand-still due to ongoing issues and the latest developments from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Via Rail has decided to keep its Prince Rupert-Prince George-Rupert suspended until June 1, 2020 to create social distancing, put the health and safety of passengers and employees first and to meet the demands of current infrastructure problems.

This includes the #5 and #6 trains in and out of the city.

In February, this route was also suspended as a result of blockades set up in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in opposition of the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

Via Rail says it’s in contact with health authorities and governments at the federal and provincial levels, and add the changes have been in effect since March 31.

“This will allow VIA Rail to better deploy its resources and equipment in order to further protect the health and safety of its passengers and employees by offering one train per day in each direction on routes still operating in the Corridor,” the company says in a statement.

Via says it’s also extending its suspension of the operations of the Canadian until June 1, 2020, which services between Vancouver and Toronto.

The following are the latest measures Via has put in place as of March 30.

  • A series of health checks will be conducted by VIA Rail employees with customers before boarding our trains
    • Asking simple health questions
    • Looking for visible signs of illness prior to boarding.
  • Passengers will be denied boarding our trains if:
    • They are experiencing symptoms similar to a cold or flu (fever, cough, difficulty breathing)
    • They have been denied boarding for travel in the last 14 days due to medical reasons related to COVID-19
  • In the event the passenger meets one of those criteria, VIA Rail will refuse boarding and travel for a period of 14 days, or until a medical certificate is presented that confirms that the traveller’s symptoms are not related to COVID-19

More information is available on Via Rail’s website.