Via Rail to bring back Montreal-Halifax service

·2 min read
The Ocean line makes several stops at stations between Halifax and Montreal, such as the one in Moncton, N.B., pictured above. (CBC / Radio-Canada - image credit)
The Ocean line makes several stops at stations between Halifax and Montreal, such as the one in Moncton, N.B., pictured above. (CBC / Radio-Canada - image credit)

Maritimers will once again be able to travel to the rest of Canada by train come August.

Via Rail announced it will be resuming its Montreal-Halifax Ocean line gradually, beginning Aug. 11, after putting it on pause last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"After a very thorough evaluation of our health and safety protocols, including physical distancing measures, enhanced air ventilation systems, and improved measures for passenger access and the protection of our employees, one weekly round-trip will be offered between Montréal and Halifax," says Via Rail, on its website.

The first trip from Halifax will depart on Aug. 11, and the first trip from Montreal will depart on Aug. 15.

The company says its "sleeper plus" and economy class will be offered, and passengers will be asked to limit their movement within the train and remain in their cabin or at their assigned seats for the duration of the trip.

Masks will be required at all times in stations and on board the trains, except when in an enclosed space such as a cabin, or temporarily when eating or drinking, Via Rail says. Passengers will be required to put their mask back on immediately after eating or drinking.

The park car and service cars will not be accessible to passengers, and activities and entertainment, including live music won't be offered.

Via Rail
Via Rail

The 1,346-kilometre route is the only passenger rail service connecting the Maritimes to the rest of Canada, offering stops in cities like Truro, N.S., Moncton, N.B. and Campbellton, N.B.

Via Rail says "full inventory" is anticipated to resume for the route Oct. 1, but the company will update customers closer to the date when it becomes clear what service will actually be possible based on the status of the pandemic.

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