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VIA Rail extends halt of Toronto-Vancouver passenger trains until June 1

The Canadian departs from Toronto
FILE PHOTO: The Canadian, Via Rail's flagship train, departs from Union Station in Toronto on Feb. 12, 2020. Kurt Brownridge/Global News

VIA Rail has extended the suspension of its Toronto-Vancouver passenger train service until June 1 amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The company suspended service on the more-than-4,400-kilometre route last month. On Monday, it announced it’s extending that “due to continued expansion of travel limitations as well as the widening of physical distancing and isolation measures.”

Service on the Prince Rupert-Prince George-Jasper route is also suspended until June 1 because of what the company called “infrastructure issues.”

Via Rail banks survival on high frequency rail project
Via Rail banks survival on high frequency rail project

The company said passengers who booked a trip during this period will be contacted and reimbursed.

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Last Saturday, VIA Rail announced an employee at one of its maintenance centres had tested positive for COVID-19. Three employees who were in close contact with the infected worker have been ordered to remain in self-isolation.

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On Sunday, the company announced two more employees testing positive, one of whom worked at the ticket office at Montreal Central Station while the other worked aboard trains in the Québec City-Windsor corridor.

— With files from Brittany Henriques