VIA Rail's 2021 Annual Public Meeting took place on May 27

The information below is available for your reference

Watch the video of this Annual Meeting and all the published documents of this event by consulting the main references below

Annual Public Meeting of VIA Rail

Main references to obtain information below: (to click)

The link on this page will take you directly to the VIA Rail website and will give you access to the references published for the 2021 Annual Public Meeting as well as the Annual Public Meetings of the past 10 years.

The link above will take you directly to the video released by VIA Rail of the 2021 Annual Public Meeting; this video is available on YouTube.

The link above will take you directly to the transcript of the video released by VIA Rail of the 2021 Annual Public Meeting

The link above will take you directly to the main questions from the general public and VIA Rail’s answers to them

Each year, VIA Rail holds its Annual Public Meeting to provide Canadians with an update. Do you have a question about VIA Rail services? Now is the time to ask! Answers to the most frequently asked questions will be posted on VIA Rail’s Annual Public Meeting page on the day. For more information, including how to submit a question, visit
https://corpo.viarail.ca/en/company/corporate-information

Considering that the railway will be operational to Gaspé in 2025, in accordance with the Quebec government's commitment to meet a condition set by VIA Rail, considering that the railway bridges will be completely repaired, that the rails, ties and ballast will be rehabilitated to New Carlisle, and that the signalling is safe, can VIA Rail confirm that it will be back in New Carlisle by the fall of 2022?

Sample questions below that you can submit to the VIA Rail Annual Public Meeting

Example #1: Return of VIA Rail service to New Carlisle in 2022

Considering that the railway will be operational until Gaspé in 2025, in accordance with the commitment of the Government of Quebec to meet a condition decreed by VIA Rail,
Considering that the railway bridges will be completely repaired, that the rails, railway ties and ballast rehabilitated until New Carlisle, that the signaling is safe, can VIA Rail confirm its return to New Carlisle by the fall of 2022?
– Can VIA Rail confirm its return to New Carlisle by the fall of 2022?
A partnership with the RÉGÎM would make it possible to offer service between Gaspé and New Carlisle, thus making it possible to take the train to New Carlisle.

Example #2: Return of VIA Rail service in Gaspésie (Gaspe coast)

Could VIA Rail show its interest in returning the train to Gaspé, whose service has been completely interrupted since August 22, 2013 (almost 7 years!), By proposing a partial return from 2022 to  New Carlisle. Infrastructure work is progressing well on the Gaspé railway.

Example #3: ”love the way”

Since the track will be completely renovated in the fall of 2022 to New Carlisle, and ready to receive passenger service, I hope your saying ”love the way” will apply and that you will offer the service to New Carlisle, after this long downtime. We really hope so.

Example #4: Service to the Gaspé coast

Transport Quebec has said that the Rehabilitation of the railway line between Caplan and Port-Daniel – Gascons will be completed by 2022. What are VIA’s plans to resume passenger rail service to New Carlisle as VIA’s former president has promised? What equipment will be used?

Example # 5: An important service for the Gaspé population

Passenger service to New Carlisle ended in 2013. In the meantime Orleans Express has cut service in half. We need the train for medical appointments in Quebec City and Montreal, to visit friends and family, and our students to go to university. When will VIA Rail resume service on the Gaspé coast? 

Example # 6: The Gaspé train: 27,991 travelers in 2011 !

Gaspesians have always used our passenger train. In 2011, 27,991 passengers took the Montréal-Gaspé train. We are ready for the train. How long do we have to wait?

Example # 7: The quality of service is reduced

The services of a dedicated Montreal – Gaspé train to serve the Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspé regions would make it possible to offer better quality service to all travelers and allow better ridership in the long term. Over the years, on many occasions, the Montreal – Gaspé route, paired with that of the Montreal – Halifax train, had to be interrupted at New Carlisle, leading to additional costs for bus rental but above all by creating dissatisfaction among  travelers before completing their route from New Carlisle to Gaspé by bus. The travelers chose the train, not the bus. As we want to optimize costs too much, the quality of service has just been reduced.

Example # 8: Quality service meeting the needs of travelers from the Gaspé, Quebec and Ontario

Suggested car additions to make this long trip more popular with travelers: A dining car aimed at travelers to have a good meal at an affordable price; an observation car allowing travelers to observe the beauty of Baie-des-Chaleurs and a panoramic car (Park car) aimed at making this train a top-of-the-range tourist attraction, like the iconic train ” Le Canadien ”. The Montreal – Gaspé trip means 17 hours of driving and more than 900 kilometers of travel.

Example # 9: Post pandemic economy

In a post pandemic world people need mobility. The passenger train will help grow the economy and provide easier access for tourists and also for people coming from abroad to work in Gaspésie. Will VIA Rail return to New Carlisle in 2022?

Example #10: VIA Rail’s mandate

VIA Rail is mandated to operate passenger rail services to regional communities such as New Carlisle and Gaspé. Since New Carlisle has a wye to turn the train and the track will be safe in 2022 will VIA Rail be ready to resume service at that time?

Example # 11: Innovative solutions

We could use the passenger train service to transport small packages; in the United States, Amtrak contributes to the distribution of United States Post mail. VIA Rail could transport medical samples from Gaspé, to Rimouski or Quebec.

Example # 12: Showing good faith

Repair work on the Matapedia to Gaspe rail line is well underway! According to the MTQ’s repair schedule the railroad will be fully repaired to Port-Daniel by the fall of 2022 and to Gaspe by 2025! This means that in the fall of 2022 the track and bridges will be fully repaired to New Carlisle! The line will be in perfect condition to New Carlisle! Will you show good faith and honor your promise by resuming the passenger train service to New Carlisle?

Example # 13: Safe for passenger train service

VIA Rail’s mandate is to provide passenger train service to Canadians! Since August 2013 your trains have no longer run on the Matapedia to New Carlisle section of track because of safety issues. Major repair work is well underway and by the fall of 2022 the Matapedia to New Carlisle section of track will be fully repaired and safe for passenger train service! You ran Montreal to New Carlisle passenger train service between May 14th, 2012 and August 13th, 2013! So will you resume passenger train service to New Carlisle in the fall of 2022 as soon as the track is ready?

Other suggested examples

Can Via Rail guarantee regular service to Montreal – New Carlisle at first, then Montreal – Gaspé upon completion of the work on the railway and the bridges?

Can Via Rail do this at favorable rates?

Will Via Rail be releasing the dome car for the summer season?

Will Via Rail offer a full catering service or at the very least, a sandwich / soup / beverage service on the Montreal – Gaspé – Montreal route?

Is Via Rail open to new ideas such as a dome car lined with a children’s play area on the Montreal – Gaspé – Montreal routes?

Last update of this page: Oct 4, 2021 @ 21 h 13 min | www.gaspetrain.org/viaapa-info | v21.124 pr