KITCHENER -- VIA Rail is cancelling some of its train routes through southwestern Ontario due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In some cases service will be reduced to one train per day in each direction.

VIA Rail says they made the decision “in light of recent recommendations of the public health authorities across the country reinforcing the importance of social distancing.”

The following update has been announced for Monday, March 30:

  • Toronto-London – Train cancelled
  • Toronto-London-Sarnia – Normal service
  • Toronto-London-Windsor – Cancelled, except train 71, 72, 75 and 78

Starting Tuesday, March 31:

  • Toronto-London-Windsor – Cancelled, except train 72 and 75
  • Toronto-London-Sarnia – Trains 84 and 87 will continue to operate

These schedules will remain in effect until further notice though passengers should check for updates on the company’s website before their departure.

In addition to the cancellations VIA Rail has also made some additional service changes:

  • Trains will be stopping at every station, which may result in longer trips times
  • Business class service has been cancelled on all routes
  • All passengers will receive a complimentary snack and water but no other food or beverage service will be offered
  • All business lounges and restaurants have been closed

VIA Rail will also enact new safety measures starting on Monday. Before boarding, employees will ask passengers some simple health questions and look for any visible signs of illness. VIA Rail says anyone who is experiencing symptoms similar to a cold or flu, such as a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, will be denied boarding. They will also be refused boarding for the next 14 days unless the passenger is able to produce a medical certificate that states that their symptoms are not related to COVID-19.

VIA Rail says they have already implemented a number of other safety measures including adding additional staff members to assist with cleaning and disinfecting of its coach cars.

Due to the ongoing changes VIA Rail has altered their cancellation policy until May 31.

More information on cancellations and refunds can be found on VIA Rail’s website.