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Via Rail resumes eastern Ontario routes following Wet’suwet’en solidarity blockades

Via Rail resumes eastern Ontario routes
WATCH: On Tuesday, partial service resumed on the Toronto-Montreal and Toronto-Ottawa routes after three weeks of cancellations.

Via Rail continued operations Tuesday after it suspended all trains in eastern Ontario in February, due to blockades near the tracks.

On Friday, Via told Global News that partial service will resume on the Toronto-Montreal and Toronto-Ottawa routes Tuesday after three weeks of cancellations.

The halted trains were a result of protests in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, who are opposed to the Coastal GasLink pipeline project in northern British Columbia.

The barricade set up by members of the Mohawk First Nation in Tyendinaga, Ont., near CN tracks on Wyman Rd. was taken down on Feb. 24, which resulted in 10 people getting arrested.

READ MORE: Via Rail to resume partial service on Eastern Canada routes starting Tuesday

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On Tuesday, Global News spoke to Via Rail passengers who rely on the service to get to and from Toronto, Kingston and Montreal, and many said they were nervous about the trip.

“I was worried because I was watching the news in Toronto and saw there’s a problem with people throwing things at trains, so I was concerned about coming down, but I had to be with my father-in-law because he hasn’t been well,” said Darlene Linseman, who arrived in Kingston from Toronto Tuesday morning.

Demonstrators set fires, try to block trains in Tyendinaga
Demonstrators set fires, try to block trains in Tyendinaga

“It was especially concerning when I saw the fire being thrown and the pallets at the trains; it’s so dangerous. We just want to be happy and travelling safe again,” said Susan Hamilton, who was preparing to board a train to Toronto.

Many passengers arriving in Kingston from Toronto told Global News that the ride was smooth and that there were no delays.

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During the Via Rail stoppage last month, the company temporarily laid off roughly 1,000 workers.  On Friday, Feb. 27, Via says 940 trains were cancelled because of the blockades, which affected more than 164,000 passengers.