Via Rail youth passes sold out after delays with reservation system

Click to play video 'Controversy over Via Rail Canada 150 Youth Pass' Controversy over Via Rail Canada 150 Youth Pass
Controversy over Via Rail Canada 150 Youth Pass

Via Rail announced early Thursday morning its Canada 150 all-you-can-travel youth passes are sold out following technical difficulties that forced the national rail service to temporarily suspend sales.

The Canada 150 Youth Pass – intended to coincide with celebrations marking the country’s sesquicentennial – went on sale Tuesday but its online reservation system experienced a number of delays due to high demand.

Via Rail put out a tweet just after 3 a.m. ET. on Thursday with the announcement that 1,867 young travellers have received the passes.

However, a press release sent later in the day stated that over 4,000 passes were sold. The sales were initially capped at 1,867 to mark the year of Canada’s confederation, but were later extended due to “great interest in the product” coupled with website technical difficulties.

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The Canada 150 Youth Pass offered travellers aged 12 to 25 all-you-can-travel train service within Canada for the month of July for $150. The pass was also available to those over the age of 25 who hold an International Student Identity Card (ISIC).

The pass was created by Via Rail to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. Via Rail will also spend over $2 million in various other initiatives as part of Canada 150 celebrations across the country.

-With a file from Tania Kohut