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Early bird train between Ottawa and Toronto returns with Kingston stop: Via Rail |



Via Rail Canada is bringing back an early morning train between Ottawa and Toronto with a stop in Kingston.

The newly announced 641 train will operate from Monday to Thursday, leaving Ottawa at 4:19 a.m. and arriving in Toronto at 8:48 a.m. with a stop in Kingston scheduled at 6:18 a.m.

A previously running early bird train between Kingston and Toronto — Train 651 — was cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In recent months, stakeholders and frequent passengers from Eastern Ontario have emphasized the significance of early-morning Via Rail services for their communities, and we took great care to listen and act on this feedback,” Via president and CEO Mario Péloquin said in a statement.

Click to play video: 'Future of VIA Rail’s commuter train from Kingston to Toronto remains uncertain'

Future of VIA Rail’s commuter train from Kingston to Toronto remains uncertain

“This is why we are looking forward to offering this option for passengers who wish to travel to Toronto before 9 a.m., whether for business or leisure.

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“We hope, and are confident, that they will answer the call and help us make this new frequency a success.”

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Stops along the new route, which starts running May 27,  include Fallowfield, Smith Falls, Brockville, Belleville, Cobourg and Port Hope.

Kingston Chamber of Commerce executive director Karen Cross said the city has been working hard lobbying for Via Rail to bring back early morning rail service to Toronto since Train 651 was cancelled.

“The business community is ecstatic for the news that we now have an early morning train into Toronto – we can get in there before nine o’clock,” Cross told Global News Tuesday.

“It’s even great for leisure travelers who want to go in for the day of shopping and come back home in the same day.

“It’s a win-win all around for the whole community.”

Along with the new morning train Via Rail announced Monday, its midday train between Ottawa and Toronto, Train 644, will run daily instead of just Friday to Sunday, starting May 27.

–With files from Global’s Darryn Davis

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