Via Rail cancels service between Sudbury and White River as CP Rail strike looms

MONTREAL — Via Rail Canada has cancelled some service in Northern Ontario because of a strike notice given to Canadian Pacific Railway by its unions.

The unions representing train operators and signalling workers — the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers — have given CP Rail notice that they plan to strike as of 10 p.m. EDT Tuesday.

Via is cancelling passenger rail service starting Tuesday morning in Ontario between Sudbury and White River.

The 9 a.m. train departing Sudbury and Wednesday morning train leaving White River at 7 a.m. are cancelled.

Via Rail says it is contacting customers with reservations. Other customers can cancel or change the date of travel at no additional charge.

The Montreal-based passenger railway says it is analyzing the potential effects of a work stoppage on its operations to minimize the impact.

CP workers rejected the company’s latest contract offer on Friday, and on Saturday, the unions accused the company of “refusing to negotiate seriously.”

CP says it will keep meeting with union representatives but has launched its work-stoppage contingency plan.

The Ontario transportation agency that runs GO transit service says delays are possible starting Wednesday morning on three of its lines to downtown Toronto that run on CP Rail tracks if the railway is unable to maintain signalling and switching capabilities.

The strike could also hurt service on some commuter trains in Montreal and Vancouver, although the railway says it will work to avoid disruptions.

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