Friday, May 22, 2020

VIA Rail revises date for resumption of Service from Prince Rupert to and from Prince George/Jasper

With CN Rail's infrastructure work on the Northern mainline moving ahead quicker than apparently anticipated, VIA Rail is moving up the date for the resumption of passenger service to and from Prince Rupert.

In an update for travellers from Thursday, VIA Rail outlined a range of service notices, including the following advisory for the Northern BC route.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the owner of the infrastructure (CN) between Prince Rupert-Prince George-Jasper has been performing infrastructure and maintenance improvements which temporarily impacted the available capacity. VIA Rail service offered on this route will however resume in July.

CN has been working on the tracks between Prince Rupert and Prince George for much of the late winter and early spring, included as part of the work is the creation of additional sidings and an increase to double tracking in some locations.

Those improvements may help VIA improve on its travel time between the two communities, with the steady increase to shipments to and from the Port of Prince Rupert, the volume of freight traffic on the northern line has also increased.

Something which often leaves the VIA train idling on sidings waiting for a green light to continue its journey.

The Prince Rupert to Jasper route is part of VIA Rails rebranded program called The adventure routes.

The trains arrive three times a week at the Fairview VIA/BC Ferries terminal at 10:25 PM, the return trip to Prince George and on to Jasper departs from Prince Rupert the next evening at 8PM

The revised date makes for a one month advance on the plan to resume service, which we noted last week.

Service had been interrupted on the route for much of this year, first from the period of rail blockades in the Bulkley Valley area, then as the COVID-19 pandemic brought transportation across Canada to a halt.

You can learn more about VIA Rail service from their website.

For further notes on passenger rail to Prince Rupert see our archive page here.

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