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Canadian Railroads > Changes to VIA on-board service


Date: 10/18/21 16:01
Changes to VIA on-board service
Author: DrawingroomA

 Two VIA staff mentioned on another discussion site that full dining car service on the Canadian would resume from Vancouver on the 11th of this month and from Toronto on the 17th. Some might consider that to be a rumour, but it was confirmed today that it has happened. So along with the opening of the Park and Skyline cars this is good news for those who travel on the train.

There have been some slight improvements in the corridor Business Class service. The wine has improved. To my taste, the quality is considerably better than the “plonk” in the small 200ml. bottles of a different brand that were handed out until a few weeks ago.
 
All the Business Lounges are now open. The two I used recently have hot drinks available in addition to the cold drinks. The hot chocolate was especially missed by some friends (and me, to be truthful).
 
What has not improved is the menu rotation. Until early summer VIA changed the menus on the 1st and 15th of every month. I don’t remember how many menus there were in the rotation, but it was six or eight.  In August I was told the menus at that time would be in effect for at least three months. There are still three choices at lunch and dinner, as there has been regularly.  The pre-meal drinks are still not available except for beer and wine. These are minor issues, of course, but VIA is charging the usual fares for Business Class and in some segments they are slightly higher than they were before the cut-backs.
 
I wrote to VIA about the lack of pre-meal cocktails and the lack of meal rotation. A year ago VIA said the cut-backs to service were for the purpose of keeping staff and passengers safe. Fair enough. But now it is about saving money. This is an excerpt of the response I received:  “The new reality of passenger rail in our country as obligated by the Federal Government is affordability, financial viability, and practicability.  VIA must and will bring these criteria into consideration when decisions have to made.”  Fans of that hilarious English TV show Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister will think this is something Sir Humphrey Appleby would have written.
 
This will not dissuade me from travelling in Business Class. The spacious seating – especially single seats when I travel alone – are the best part of it. The meals, such as they are, are fairly good as is the wine.
 



Date: 10/18/21 17:46
Re: Changes to VIA on-board service
Author: RL_Cabin

DrawingroomA Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>  Two VIA staff mentioned on another discussion
> site that full dining car service on the Canadian
> would resume from Vancouver on the 11th of this
> month and from Toronto on the 17th. Some might
> consider that to be a rumour, but it was confirmed
> today that it has happened. So along with the
> opening of the Park and Skyline cars this is good
> news for those who travel on the train.

Thank you for the report DrawingroomA.  It sounds like the Canadian is almost back to normal.  Is there any word on when Prestige service will be restored?

RL Cabin



Date: 10/18/21 20:14
Re: Changes to VIA on-board service
Author: DrawingroomA

RL_Cabin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> Thank you for the report DrawingroomA.  It sounds
> like the Canadian is almost back to normal.  Is
> there any word on when Prestige service will be
> restored?
>
> RL Cabin

Tentatively on the first runs after Nov. 15th. VIA has pushed back the re-start date a few times. Many dates in  Sept. and Oct. were heavily booked and even sold out in Prestige.



Date: 10/19/21 05:10
Re: Changes to VIA on-board service
Author: joemvcnj

Not rotating the menu - by Amtrak's junk food standards, that's a nice problem to have. 



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