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Threat of VIA Rail strike resulting in cancelled trains

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Updates - Work stoppage

VIA Rail Canada has announced that its representatives are currently negotiating with the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference union, which represents some 340 locomotive engineers. Earlier today, the union gave notice to the Corporation of its intent to go on strike on Friday, July 24, 2009 at noon Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

A mediator has been appointed by the government to assist the parties in the negotiation process.

VIA remains hopeful that an agreement will be reached before the set deadline. Unfortunately though, VIA has no choice but to begin to cancel certain departures of long-distance trains to ensure that passengers will not be stranded en-route in the event of a strike. Refer to http://www.viarail.ca/sites/all/files/m ... pdfncelled trains

In general, VIA will ensure that passengers departing prior to noon (EDT) this Friday are transported to destination, either by train or by alternate means.

After noon EDT this Friday, all VIA trains will be cancelled, until a settlement is reached. No alternate transportation will be provided. Trains on the Sudbury-White River and Victoria-Courtenay routes will remain in service, as they are operated by third parties on VIA’s behalf.

Information, including specific affected trains and any exceptions, will be updated regularly. Customers may also contact VIA at 888 VIA-RAIL (842-7245) or 800 268-9503 (hearing impaired).

VIA sincerely regrets any inconvenience that this situation may cause its customers.

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You know. its that thing that only takes 4 hours door to door from ottawa to montreal, instead of spening 5.5 hrs in a car, or 2.5 hrs travelling by air/airport/security etc... (unless flying porter) and costs half as much. You guys in Alberta should try it. its gotta be better than tarmac to tarmac service from Edmonton to Calgary.

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So, yesterday afternoon at 1348, I received the following e-mail entitled "Your train has been cancelled":

Note: You are receiving this e-mail as you are holding a reservation to travel between July 22, 2009 and July 26, 2009.

VIA Rail Canada is currently negotiating with Teamsters Canada Rail Conference union to avert a possible work stoppage by locomotive engineers. We remain hopeful an agreement will be reached before the strike deadline of July 24, 2009 at noon (EDT).

However, in the interim, VIA is taking steps to ensure that travellers will not get stranded en-route in the event of a strike. To that end, VIA is cancelling certain trains. For more details, please visit http://www.viarail.ca/en/update. You may also contact our Telephone Sales Office at 1 888 VIA-RAIL (1 888 842-7245) or TTY 1 800 268-9503 (hearing impaired).

We regret any inconvenience this may cause you. To obtain a refund or exchange for your tickets — with absolutely no service charges — please visit our updated news page for conditions and for all the latest news.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

Nice attempt at communicating with customers..........the only problem was that I DO NOT have a pending reservation with VIA !!! :lol:

I was still scratching my head trying to recall if I had an upcoming train trip when I got the following e-mail from VIA Rail at 1538 entitled "Error - disregard: "Your train has been cancelled" sent on July 22 at 13:45 hrs":

Earlier this afternoon, you received an e-mail ("Your train has been cancelled" sent on July 22 at 13:45 hours) from VIA Rail Canada. Please disregard this e-mail as it was sent by error.

I'm glad to know that I'm not losing my mind and forgetting booked travel arrangements ! :lol:

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Received this note from VIA. If they do go on strike, the welcome back promos were pretty sweet. 60% off all fares with no cancellation penalties...

June 21, 2010

Dear CL,

VIA Rail is currently negotiating with the Canadian Auto Workers' union (CAW), which represents a portion of VIA Rail's unionized employees.

However, in view of a potential work stoppage, VIA Rail has established a contingency plan which provides for basic services in order to minimize the impact on its customers. Please note that only Economy class services will be offered on all routes.

Also, we would like to inform you that the VIA Préférence program could be affected.

In the event of such a work stoppage:

Neither the VIA Préférence Service Centre, nor the VIA Rail Telephone sales office will be in operation

Ticket purchases will be available only at viarail.ca

Passengers must have a valid booking and present their VIA ticket or e-booking confirmation when boarding

VIA Préférence points can still be accumulated during this time

Points cannot be redeemed during the work stoppage

Privilège and Premier members cannot use their exclusive benefits, such as online coupons

Please visit viarail.ca regularly as your exclusive source of all information regarding the current situation, operating trains and schedules.

We thank you for your understanding and loyalty, and apologize for any inconvenience this situation may cause you.


François-Yves Caya

Manager, Loyalty Marketing

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