No 'Touring Class,' dome access for return of VIA's Prince Rupert train

News Wire Digest third section for June 9: Diaz Page joins OmniTRAX; Strasburg Rail Road submits plan for reopening
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A Prince Rupert-bound train with a “Touring Class” full-length Panorama dome and Park dome-observation bringing up the rear prepares to depart Prince George, B.C., on August 10, 2015. Passengers will be kept out of the dome and the Panorama won’t be operating when once-weekly service begins July 5.

Bob Johnston
Federico Diaz Page

Tuesday afternoon rail news:

Touring Class not available, schedule set for resumption of VIA Jasper-Prince Rupert service

Touring Class, with its full-length single-level Panorama dome car, will not be offered when VIA Rail Canada resumes passenger service to and from Prince Rupert, British Columbia, in July, and access to the dome in the Park dome-lounge-observation will not be permitted. In an update on its website, VIA has outlined the schedule for the two-day trip making an overnight stop in Prince George, B.C., with the trip from Jasper, Alberta, to Prince Rupert set for Sundays and Mondays, and the return trip from Prince Rupert to Jasper on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Diaz Page joins OmniTRAX industrial development team
Industry veteran Federico Diaz Page has joined the industrial development team at shortline holding company OmniTRAX, where he will work to bring new business to the company’s railroads in Texas and Oklahoma. Diaz Page most recently was executive vice president of shortline operator Texas Pacifico Transportation Ltd., where he helped reduce the operating ratio from 104% to 56% in two years, then maintained that level while increasing revenue carloads more than tenfold. “Federico is a dynamic leader with more than 20 years of experience in a broad range of operational, strategic and commercial responsibilities. He brings expertise in rail transportation, economic development and industrial promotion to the new position,” said Ean Johnson, OmniTRAX vice president of industrial development.

Strasburg Rail Road submits reopening plan to state
The Strasburg Rail Road has submitted its plans for reopening to the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Gov. Tom Wolf in hopes of reopening as soon as the state’s recovery plan reaches its “green” phase. WPMT-TV reports plans include temperature checks and required face coverings for all guests, access by pre-purchase or advance reservation only, contactless guest check-in, limiting capacity to no more than 50% of available seats, and an extended period between trips to allow thorough cleaning and limit visitor density in mall and retail spaces. No reopening date has yet been set; watch the Strasburg website for updates.



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