Some weekend travellers heading to Montreal or Ottawa on Friday are finding their trains cancelled due to a protest blocking the tracks east of the GTA in Belleville.
VIA already cancelled a handful of trains that had been scheduled to depart from Union Station and now say no trains will run along those routes until the issue is resolved.
“We are aware that this situation, which is unfortunately beyond our control, has an impact on our customers and we apologize for the inconvenience this situation is causing,” Marchand Giguere said in a statement.
He said trains are standing by and the agency is prepared to resume regular service when the tracks are cleared.
Train 50 to Ottawa and train 60 to Montreal were scheduled to leave at 6:40 a.m. and after more than two hours VIA finally updated their website saying those trains have been cancelled.
Trains 52 and 62 to Ottawa and Montreal, which were supposed to leave Union Station at 8:35 a.m. were also cancelled.
Trains are expected to still operate between Ottawa and Montreal, between Montreal and Quebec City, and west of Toronto in Southwestern Ontario.
Customers are being advised to check the website ahead of their scheduled departure for updates.
The blockade also paused freight service for Canadian National Railway, which said it’s stopped running trains due to a protest between the eastern Ontario towns of Shannonville and Desoronto.
Ontario provincial police have also said they’re monitoring the situation, but there have been no arrests. Bill Dickson, an OPP spokesman, said Friday afternoon that the protesters had been there for 24 hours.
Passenger and freight rail traffic was stopped at Marysville, which is just east of Belleville, last night after protestors forced the shutdown of rail lines in support of the Wet’suwet’en, who faced raids yesterday from the RCMP on camps set up to stop a natural gas pipeline in British Columbia.