Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Update to VIA Rail Moving The Canadian to Lake Superior

In a previous post I shared a report from the July issue of Trains magazine by columnist Don Phillips about the possibility of moving The Canadian to the CPR’s more southerly route through northern Ontario along Lake Superior.

In the August issue of Trains author Bob Johnston has a multipage article on the future of VIA Rail, including a short bit on this possibility.

In the article, Johnston quotes VIA Rail President Yves Desjardins-Siciliano as saying: “We have not approached them (the CPR) formally on that because it is not a service defining component, but it’s a better route, so that is always a possibility.”

In the article Johnston also notes that VIA Rail pays CN, the railway on which tracks it runs for most of its trip from Toronto to Vancouver, less than $20,000 per trip.

Johnston also notes that if The Canadian was moved to the CPR tracks from CN in northern Ontario, “the Sudbury-White River Rail Diesel Cars that currently run on the route would presumably move to the CN, filling the transportation void over a much longer stretch of otherwise inaccessible settlements and First Nation commerce centres.”

So—no confirmation of the change, but no rejection yet, either. As before, we can only hope.

Photo of VIA's The Canadian along Lake Superior in 1984 by Steve Danko on Railpictures.caFor more photos of VIA in the 1980s visit James Jensen's page on Pinterest.


  1. That's twice today my Pinterest boards have popped up - here and photos of CN service vehicles on Canadian Model Trains... My VIA boards on Pinterest are hardly all encompassing. Some reference shots of 1980s versions of the Canadian and VIA trains in Ontario in the same time period. Things of research interest to me, apparently others as well..

  2. It was great to find those 1980s photos on your board, James. They took me back in time . . . .