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Two Years After COVID: Amtrak Lags, VIA Rail Hopes

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  • Two Years After COVID: Amtrak Lags, VIA Rail Hopes


    Two Years After COVID: Amtrak Lags, VIA Rail Hopes
    Written by David Peter Alan, Contributing Editor
    March 23, 2022

    Amtrak and VIA Rail Canada took major hits in the two years since COVID-19 pushed much of the world into lockdown mode. Today, Amtrak’s service recovery has stalled, while VIA Rail is looking forward to something of a comeback under difficult circumstances later this spring; a comeback that has already begun in part.

    Railway Age recently reported on how rail transit is faring in the U.S. and Canada. It certainly spelled misfortune for transit in the two countries, although most local rail transit—subway and elevated lines, light rail and streetcars—has recovered to pre-COVID levels of service without recovering to similar levels of ridership or revenue. Regional railroads, still often called “commuter” railroads, have not generally fared as well; although, as we reported, some are doing better than others. In addition, some have shifted to providing more evenly spaced service throughout the day; others have restored their old “commuting peak” schedules in an effort to bring back on board former commuters; and some have abandoned “off-peak” service on certain lines that used to run at those times...