Via Rail Canada - Facts & Figures

Via Rail Canada is an independent Canadian state-owned corporation who operate intercity passenger rail services throughout Canada. In 2018, they employed 3,207 staff and carried over 4.7 million passengers on a total of 992 million passenger miles. Their most travelled route was Montréal-Ottawa-Toronto, accounting for more than 2.5 million passengers during that year.

Prior to their establishment of Via Rail, national passenger in Canada rail was serviced by two companies – the Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway. From around the 1960’s both companies wanted to cease passenger services to instead focus on freight. Since the government considered passenger rail an essential service, they established Via Rail Canada as Canada’s first national passenger rail company in early 1977, after which they took over operation of the passenger services, cars and locomotives of the earlier two companies.

The company has seen significant growth over the last five years, with revenue increasing from 270 million Canadian dollars in 2013 to nearly 393 million Canadian dollars in 2018. However, revenue streams are not sufficient to cover the company’s operating expenses, which totaled more than 665 million dollars in 2018. The shortfall is funded by the Canadian government, who also provide additional funding for capital expenditure. As of 2018, Via Rail held total assets of almost 1.5 billion Canadian dollars.

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Via Rail Canada

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