The situation affects both freight and passenger trains
Via Rail cancels most trains nationwide, CN closes Eastern Canadian network as Indigenous protests continue
Passenger rail service says it has ‘no other option,’ while CN warns of temporary layoffs
CN Rail and Via Rail are shutting down huge sections of their railway networks as Indigenous blockades continue to cripple the country’s transportation systems.
Via Rail is temporarily ending most passenger services nationwide, expanding an earlier work stoppage that restricted train cancellations to the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal corridor.
“Via Rail has no other option but to cancel all of its services on the network, with the exception of Sudbury-White River (CP Rail) and Churchill-The Pas (Hudson Bay Railway), until further notice,” the rail operator said in a media statement.
‘The situation is regrettable’
“With over 400 trains cancelled during the last week and new protests that emerged at strategic locations on our mainline, we have decided that a progressive shutdown of our Eastern Canadian operations is the responsible approach to take for the safety of our employees and the protestors,” J.J. Ruest, the president and CEO of CN, said in a media statement.
“This situation is regrettable … these protests are unrelated to CN’s activities and beyond our control. Our shutdown will be progressive and methodical to ensure that we are well set up for recovery, which will come when the illegal blockades end completely.”
Last weekend, CN Rail obtained a court injunction to end the illegal Mohawk demonstration. The injunction has been ignored by the protesters. Activists also ignored a request from the on-reserve Tyendinaga Police for them to voluntarily dismantle the blockade.
Transport Minister Marc Garneau said he plans to meet with his provincial and territorial counterparts Friday, adding he is in contact with CN and CP.
(Source: CBC News · )