Railways 101

Canada’s Passenger Railways: Moving People

Rail offers Canadians a comfortable, affordable and environmentally friendly way to travel. Each year, close to 82 million passengers travel on Canada’s railways, and demand for commuter service is on the rise. More than 77 million commuters rode the rails in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec in 2015—a 27-per-cent increase over the previous decade.

Each year, close to 82 million passengers travel on Canada’s railways, and demand for commuter service is on the rise.

The Better Way to Get from Point A to Point B

Canada is one of the largest countries in the world and that means Canadians spend a lot of time getting from point A to point B. In fact, we each drive an average of almost 16,000 kilometres every year. Fortunately, passenger rail gives Canadians an efficient and sustainable alternative to car travel. Rail offers shorter travel times, increased comfort, and helps to decrease road congestion and vehicle accidents, all while reducing pollution and greenhouse gases.

Connecting Communities From Coast to Coast

As Canada’s national passenger railway, VIA Rail provides intercity rail services across the country. VIA currently serves more than 400 communities from coast to coast, and operates close to 475 trains every week on a 12,500-kilometre network. Passengers on VIA’s trains have access to amenities such as on-board meals and high-speed Internet service, allowing them to stay comfortable, connected and productive while they travel. More and more people are choosing VIA Rail as the better way to travel—intercity service now carries more than four million passengers a year.

Passenger railways don’t just serve millions of Canadians, they also provide visitors to Canada with an unbeatable view of our beautiful country. More than 360,000 tourists choose to take the train every year, making our railways key to Canada’s tourism industry. Around 146,000 U.S. residents also travel to Canada by train each year—28 per cent more than a decade ago.