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Via Rail cancels routes due to protests

Via Rail cancels routes – As protests continue to grow across the Canada for a third day, in solidarity with members of northern BC’s Wet’suwet’en Nation’s blockade of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, Via Rail has issued a travel advisory.

The protesters have been blocking access to rail lines concerning a planned $6.6 billion pipeline that would carry natural gas across northern British Columbia.

Coastal GasLink said it had signed agreements with the elected council of all 20 First Nations along the routes, but the hereditary chiefs of Wet’suwet’en continue to oppose the project, stating they never consented to its construction on their traditional territory.

In the meantime, due to the blockade near Belleville ON, train service between Montreal and Toronto and between Ottawa and Toronto is affected in both directions.

Via Rail cancels routes due to protests

In view of the current uncertainty, they say in their advisory, VIA Rail is cancelling all departures until Thursday (at the end of the day) on the Montreal-Toronto and Toronto-Ottawa routes – in both directions. Services continue to operate between Ottawa and Montreal, between Montreal and Quebec City, and west of Toronto in Southwestern Ontario.

CANCELLATIONS: The following February 12th and 13th trains of have been cancelled: 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 50, 51 (between Ottawa and Toronto), 52, 53, 54, 55, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 644, 645, 646, 647, 650, 651, 668, 669. *Please note that train 51 will operate between Montreal and Ottawa but cancelled between Ottawa and Toronto only.

VIA Rail will be automatically processing full refunds for the cancelled trips, but it could take up to 10 days due to the volume of transactions The refund applies to all services affected by the blockades as well as related connections.

“Although we remain hopeful that a resolution will be reached, in view of the current uncertainty, reservations can be cancelled for a full refund with no service charges up to two days prior to the departure date by calling our VIA Customer Centre at 1-888-VIA-RAIL (1-888 842-7245), TTY 800-268-9503 (deaf or hard of hearing). This refund applies to all services affected by the blockades as well related connections.”

For more information, passengers can call the VIA Customer Centre at 1-888-VIA-RAIL (1-888 842-7245), TTY 800-268-9503 (deaf or hard of hearing). Customers trying from Eastern Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area might be unable to get through using the toll free number. If you are experiencing this issue, please contact us on one of the following temporary local numbers: 613-691-1869 or 647-475-1274. The next update to the list is scheduled for Thursday February 13th at approximately 7:00pm.

By: Bonnie Wurst – mtltimes.ca

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