Wyoming is back on the map.
Sarnia-Lambton MP Pat Davidson and VIA Rail have announced that come Dec. 9 there will be some major changes to passenger rail service including the reinstatement of the Wyoming stop on the way to Toronto.
Community leaders have been complaining for years about VIA’s service in the area. Last year, the passenger rail service was cut to just one train in and one train out of the main Sarnia station a day. And VIA would no longer stop in Wyoming to pick up passengers saying Transport Canada was forcing VIA to slow its trains in Kitchener because of poor track conditions. Officials said stopping in Wyoming under those conditions would make the train late in Toronto.
Davidson says VIA contacted her late last week saying by Dec. 9, they should have the okay to pick up passengers at Wyoming again, provided they have bought a ticket 40 minutes before the Sarnia train leaves.
VIA has also adjusted its schedule so the Sarnia train arrives in London at the same time as the express from Windsor. That means passengers can connected with it and make it into Toronto 46 minutes sooner.
“It’s something we’ve all be asking for as long as we’ve been looking for improvements,” says Davidson. “It makes a huge difference to be able to get to Toronto in a timely way.”
Davidson says after years of struggling to work with VIA, communications have “improved greatly” and she is optimistic VIA is open to talking about more ways to improve service to Sarnia-Lambton.
“One of the things that we’ve been working on is re-exploring the bud car issue,” she says noting the single car could shuttle users to London to make connections. “even if it is not more routes if it is something like a Bud car route would use London as feeder station…to be able to access more services.”
While VIA turned the idea down several years ago, Davidson says she, local officials and Transport Canada have all urged VIA to take a second look. “There needs to be more discussion. VIA has been very good… I’ve been able to set up meetings in my office in Ottawa here, I’ve had many, many phone calls with VIA we’ve just had a lot of open discussion.
“Communications have improved greatly.”