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VIA Rail reports smaller operating loss in second quarter


VIA Rail Canada Inc.'s total revenue increased 3.9 percent to $68.7 million (in Canadian dollars) in the second quarter, while its operating loss decreased by 6.9 percent to $74.4 million compared with the same period a year ago, the railroad's board announced yesterday.

The decline in the operating loss primarily was driven by a reduction in contributions to various pension plans. Government funding decreased by 12.6 percent compared with second-quarter 2013 due to reduced operating loss and lower investments in capital investment projects, VIA Rail officials said in a press release.

Despite a 2.7 percent reduction in total ridership to 912,000 from 937,000 a year ago, the passenger load factor rose by 6 percentage points to 60 percent for the quarter, they said.

The financial results are "encouraging," said VIA Rail President and Chief Executive Officer Yves Desjardins-Siciliano.

"In particular, working with our railway partners, we improved our on-time performance by 8.7 percentage points from 70.6 percent in the previous quarter to 79.3 percent in this quarter," he said. "We can be cautiously optimistic that we are on the right track, although a lot of work needs to be done in order to meet last year's OTP quarterly results."

The quarterly report is accessible via this link.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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