Prepared by: Kieran MAS
June 30, 2015
This research compares the inter-city, regional/remote and tourist services of VIA Rail and other Canadian passenger rail operators with relevant passenger rail services in the U.S., Australia, Japan and the E.U. (including the U.K., France and Italy) with respect to the markets served, involvement of other levels of government, mandates and governance structures, public subsidies and private sector investment (in both capital and operations) and overall performance. It also identifies the key best practices and lessons learned from other jurisdictions that could be considered for Canada. The report concludes that Canada is unique in terms of the relevant legislation and governance, funding models, markets served and performance. VIA Rail Canada is a separate state-owned operation of rail passenger services restricted to inter-city markets, and whereas significant intergovernmental cooperation exists in other countries, Canadian provincial and federal governments plan and run their rail operations and interests in isolation. The report concludes that passenger rail in Canada suffers from an absence of a consistent and stable visionary goal for sustained commitment to (or disposal of) the current intercity, regional/remote and tourist services.