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Via Rail apologizes for holiday travel disruptions, communication failures

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MONTREAL - Via Rail Canada is apologizing to travellers for extensive delays and cancellations over the holiday period as it offers refunds and travel credits.

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MONTREAL – Via Rail Canada is apologizing to travellers for extensive delays and cancellations over the holiday period as it offers refunds and travel credits.

Railway CEO Martin Landry says in a statement that beyond not having met the expectations of customers, Via Rail has not lived up to its own standards.

The railway says the combination of a severe winter storm and the derailment of a freight train led to disruptions between Dec. 23 and 26, particularly along the Québec City–Windsor corridor and elsewhere in Eastern Canada.

The Via Rail station is seen in Halifax on June 13, 2013. Martin Landry, CEO of the railway, says in a statement that beyond not having met the expectations of customers, Via Rail has not lived up to its own standards.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

It says that while some factors were beyond its control, it should have been more forthcoming in sharing information about train delays and in communicating updates.

The Crown corporation says that along with refunds and travel credits for those whose trains were completely immobilized, it will also be reviewing its performance with the help of outside experts.

The review will cover issues including its planning for the storm, its operational response, protocols around customer care and its overall communications.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 10, 2023.

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