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Early morning train to Toronto to stop in Brockville

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Brockville residents can soon catch an early morning train to Toronto, as Via Rail announced the return of a once-popular commuter route.

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The company announced this week it will introduce an early morning route from Ottawa to Toronto, operating from Monday to Thursday. The new 641 train will leave Ottawa at 4:19 a.m., stop in Brockville at 5:35 a.m., and arrive in Toronto by 8:48 a.m.

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The new route, which also includes a stop in Smiths Falls at 5:05 a.m., will begin operating on May 27.

“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,” said Mario Péloquin, Via Rail’s president and CEO, in a written statement.

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

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Train 641’s predecessor, Train 651 which ran from Kingston to Toronto, was suspended by Via Rail during the COVID-19 pandemic due to a drop in ridership. Via Rail faced calls from politicians and business leaders for years to bring the route back, with many calling it a crucial travel link for business leaders throughout Eastern Ontario.

Now that the route is back, with the introduction of several new stops along the way, Brockville’s mayor said it’s great news for the city.

“The City of Brockville welcomes Via’s announcement of additional service for our residents. These service enhancements will provide both greater conveniences, and a way to travel to downtown Toronto from Brockville more safely and efficiently,” Mayor Matt Wren said in an email Tuesday.

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“As we attract more people to live in our community who work remotely, or in hybrid roles, enhancements such as these build the case for a more affordable, higher quality of life in Eastern Ontario.”

The corporation said it will also offer “more midday flexibility” by expanding service on train 644, which runs from Toronto to Ottawa.

Train 644, which previously operated from Friday to Sunday, will now run every day, also as of May 27, to offer passengers more midday travel options and greater flexibility.

sbedford@postmedia.com

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