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Train route opens to Prince Rupert

VIA Rail resumes Jasper to Prince Rupert line
VIA Rail is resuming passenger service to Prince Rupert from Jasper, starting July 6, 2020. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) will resume service to Prince Rupert, starting July 5, with one round trip per week from Jasper through Prince George.

The weekly train route will start on Sundays in Jasper and run to Prince George, where riders spend the night. The Monday train leaves Prince George at 8 a.m. to arrive in Prince Rupert at 8:25 p.m. The return train will leave Prince Rupert on Wednesday mornings at 8 a.m.

Passengers will notice some changes on the journey so VIA Rail can implement and follow steps for COVID-19 protocols.

One change that will be noted by sightseeing passengers is the closure of the dome car and that touring class will not be available.

“Access to the Dome car will not be permitted and we encourage our passengers to stay at their seat as much as possible to limit contact with other customers and employees.”

“We have limited the number of bookable seats aboard our trains in order to provide passengers physical distancing space when travelling. Since capacity will be limited in economy class, we recommend that our passengers reserve their trip prior to their departure,” VIA Rail said in a media release on June 9.

READ MORE: CN shuts down eastern rail network, Via service due to anti-pipeline blockades

Food and beverages will not be available for purchase on the trains and passengers should plan for their own needs.

“All passengers will receive a complimentary snack which will be placed on their seat prior to boarding. As no other food or beverage service will be offered, we recommend that passengers bring their own meals and ask customers with dietary restrictions to plan accordingly,” VIA Rail said.

Any passengers displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted to board. These symptoms include any cold or flu like indications such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing.

“In order to limit the risks of propagation of COVID-19, VIA Rail recommends to all its passengers to wear a non-medical mask or face covering that covers the nose and the mouth when travelling on its trains and when it is impossible to respect a distance of 2 metres with others,” VIA Rail said.

Employees will be on-board in order to sanitize the coach cars while in operation.

READ MORE: Via Rail calling back employees as service resumes to normal schedule

 K-J Millar | Journalist 
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