I received an email from VIA Rail about some exciting new upgrades to the business class service, including: new ergonomic seating, new meals, personalized service, refurbished lounges, and greener trips.
Some of the improvements you will see are as follows:
- In October 2014, we will see the completion of all 26 new Business class cars.
- Priority ticketing and check-in lines for Business class and top-tier members of its loyalty program.
- All 7 Québec City-Windsor corridor Business lounges (Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, London, Dorval, Québec City and Kingston) have been completely refurbished.
- Lounges include beverages, magazines, newspapers, work stations, free Wi-Fi, full business centers with PC and Mac computers and colour laser printers.
- On-board the train, there will be personalized service such as hot towels, soft drinks and snacks, and a full bar service (included) which starts at 11 a.m.
- VIA Préférence Premier members (top level members), will receive additional recognition such as priority meal orders.
- Complimentary Wi-Fi access is available on all trains in the Québec City-Windsor corridor.
- The new train cars have ergonomic redesigned seating, more personal space, new windows, additional leg-room
- In terms of going green, VIA Rail has replaced heavy mechanical equipment and installed more efficient lighting and climate control systems and energy use is now monitored to maximize efficiency.
These are some exciting new changes for VIA Rail’s business class. I am glad to see that VIA Rail is committed to constantly improve its service. Hopefully their prices remain competitive to put some pressure on airlines.
What I would like to see most from VIA Rail is to invest in a high speed train for some of its busier routes, such as Montreal/Toronto and Calgary/Edmonton. It is probably an expensive investment today, but it should pay off in the long run.