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13 Feb 2020 | 06:56 PM UTC

Canada: VIA Rail and CN Rail suspend services as of February 13 /update 1

Ongoing blockades by indigenous protesters causes VIA Rail and CN Rail to suspend services on February 13; plan alternative modes of transportation

transportation
CAN

Event

VIA Rail and CN Rail announced on Thursday, February 13, that rail service across their networks has been suspended indefinitely due to ongoing blockades by indigenous protesters. According to VIA Rail, all service except for the Sudbury-White River (CP Rail) and Churchill-The Pas (Hudson Bay Railway) lines will be shutdown and no new bookings will be accepted before Tuesday, February 18. Affected passengers will receive automatic refunds. CN Rail said that it has begun progressively shutting down operations in Eastern Canada due to the blockades in Ontario. According to the operator, over 400 trains have been canceled within the past week and new protests are taking place at strategic locations along their mainline. Additional information can be found on the VIA Rail website here and the CN Rail website here.

Further service disruptions, including delays and cancelations on other rail lines, are possible over the coming days.

Context

Tyendinaga Mohawk members have been blocking the railway near Belleville since February 6, in protest of the arrest of demonstrators who are opposing the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern British Columbia. The protesters said they will continue to block the tracks until police officers leave We'tsuwet'en territory in British Columbia.

Advice

Potentially impacted travelers are advised to keep abreast of the situation, confirm rail reservations, and consider using alternative routes or modes of transportation.