Via Rail caps number of Canada 150 youth passes at 1,867

Via Rail caps number of Canada 150 youth passes at 1,867

Young travellers can now purchase the Via Rail Canada 150 youth pass after it was "temporarily suspended" due to high demand – but there's now a limit on the number of available passes.

On its website, Via Rail now says only 1,867 passes are available, a number corresponding to the year of Canada's confederation.

 Around 11 p.m. ET, the Crown corporation tweeted that 986 passes had been sold so far.

"Due to the popularity, we've had to cap it otherwise there won't be enough seats for all come July," Via Rail said in a tweet directed at one customer.

The Crown corporation warns that buying the discounted pass might still take some time.

On its website, Via Rail says people might experience delays with the purchasing process "due to persistent instability of our reservation system and higher traffic on our website."

Via Rail announced the unbeatable deal Tuesday night: a rail pass that will allow those between the ages of 12 and 25 to travel on all routes, as much as they want, for the month of July.

Via 'pleasantly surprised' despite snafus

The pass is just $150 — in honour of Canada's upcoming birthday celebrations this July.

But the pass was quickly listed as "temporarily unavailable" on Via Rail's website Tuesday night, with a note citing technical difficulties.

The pass was then "temporarily suspended" for purchase on Wednesday due to high demand, and the national rail service said its technical team was working to find the source of the problem. 

In spite of the outage, Via said it was "pleasantly surprised by Canadians' enthusiasm to take part in the Canada 150 celebrations, and the popularity of this product."

Naturally, people took to Twitter to vent their frustration. 

Canada 150 celebrations

The Canada 150 Youth Pass is for travel in economy class only.

And you're in luck if you're student over the age of 25, as full-time students with a valid International Student Identification Card (ISIC) can also snag the deal.

Via Rail announced in February that it would participate in a number of special initiatives for Canada's 150th birthday, all "designed to strengthen the pride and sense of belonging felt across our country."

The Crown corporation said the initiatives would represent an investment of more than $2 million in train tickets.

In light of the announcement, Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly said: "I encourage everyone to travel across the country to take part in activities from coast to coast to coast to celebrate Canada's linguistic, cultural and regional diversity, as well as its rich history and heritage."