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VIA Rail's ridership remained steady in first quarter


VIA Rail Canada Inc.'s ridership remained steady during the first quarter, reaching 936,000 riders compared with 934,000 during 2012's same period, the railroad's board announced last week.

This year will be the first in which VIA Rail will measure the effect of frequency adjustments made to its train schedule in 2012, and "so far, things are looking promising," said President and Chief Executive Officer Marc Laliberté in a press release.

"We are confident that by staying focused on providing a travel experience that meets passengers' expectations of comfort, reliability, affordability and the benefit of productive and connected travel time, our ridership will continue to grow in key markets," he said.

In the Quebec City-Montréal-Ottawa-Toronto Corridor, where VIA Rail added train frequencies, ridership jumped 9.2 percent and passenger miles climbed 4.9 percent in the first quarter versus a year ago.

Other first-quarter accomplishments included:
• Conceptual design work was completed to the head end power redesigned fleet of sleeper cars used on the Canadian service between Toronto and Vancouver;

• Progress was made on work improving the light, rapid, comfortable business and coach cars used in the corridor; and

• Three out of six diesel rail cars dedicated to remote services were delivered.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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