December 2008 SaskSecrets

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VIA Rail's New Canadian Schedule will Benefit Saskatchewan Travellers

Recently VIA Rail announced that effective December 2, 2008 travellers will be able to board VIA Rail passenger trains at Saskatchewan stations during the morning and afternoon hours. Previously, the schedule saw passenger trains travelling across the country to come through Saskatchewan in the middle of the night.

“This new schedule is going to provide daylight or daytime service from Saskatoon, for example, in both the east- and west-bound directions,” says VIA Rail spokeswoman Catherine Kaloutsky. “This makes taking the train a more appealing option to both leisure and business travellers because the departure times are more normal with other modes of travel.”

VIA Rail changes schedule

Currently VIA serves five stations in Saskatchewan at Saskatoon, Melville, Bigger, Unity, and Watrous. About 9,000 passengers access VIA Rail’s services at these stations and most of these travellers are from other provinces. This change will no doubt have a positive effect on travelling to, from and within the province of Saskatchewan as it provides people with more travelling options.

This change will also have a positive affects on VIA Rail’s flagship product, the “Canadian”, which is a transcontinental service lasting three days and three nights. Before the change, connections within Saskatchewan were in the late evening and early morning hours and travellers wishing to reach destinations past Toronto were forced to overnight there before continuing on the next day. The new schedule will no longer require passengers to overnight in Toronto.

VIA Rail provides a number of levels of service on their trains, ranging from comfort or coach class to first class and sleeping car services, which can include single, double or triple bedrooms and shower facilities. For more information about VIA Rail services and schedules visit www.viarail.ca.

Photo courtesy of Barry D. Williams