THUNDER BAY — The release of VIA Rail Canada’s 2012 annual report reveals the train service cuts of last year were wrong to the core and the publicly-owned railway is in much worse shape than its government-appointed board and executives are willing to admit. Independent MP Bruce Hyer and Transport Action’s Greg Gormick will hold a press conference Friday on the release Hyer’s Independent Members’ Report on passenger rail, detailing how current rail policy has come off the tracks, and how service might be restored to the North Shore.
In Northwestern Ontario, VIA Rail takes the northern route, which bypasses Kenora, Dryden, Ignace and Thunder Bay.
VIA Rail – Foundation of Rail is Weak
“While VIA’s glossy annual report talks about how the Crown corporation is building ‘a foundation of its future evolution,’ nothing could be further from the truth,” said Hyer. “The whole filing is an indictment of the destructive cuts the Conservative government let VIA make to its service across Canada in 2012.”
“Last year’s VIA cuts were supposed to reduce costs, while raising revenues and ridership,” said Gormick. “Instead, passenger revenues declined. Ridership has declined. Trains are emptier and later than before”.
“This is on top of reduced cross-Canada service on The Canadian and reduced service to Atlantic Canada on The Ocean. Action must be taken before passenger gets derailed in Canada altogether.”
“My Independent Members’ Report, co-authored by Mr. Gormick, chronicles the decline of passenger rail in Canada and offer solutions to get it back on track,” said Hyer.
Hyer will reveal the report at the former CPR Train Station on Friday at 11AM EDT.