Digest: VIA Rail Canada to get new reservation system

News Wire Digest second section for Nov. 4: Rotterdam railcar removed from whale's tail sculpture; lockdowns in France, Britain led to changes in rail service
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Wednesday midday rail news:

VIA Rail Canada selects company to develop new reservation system

VIA Rail Canada has selected information technology and business consulting firm CGI to develop a new reservation system. The IT firm says the new system will be “a first step toward helping the company create an integrated travel experience,” with Guy Vigeant, president of the CGI’s Canadian operations saying in a press release that the goal is “a superior passenger experience that drives business growth and strengths the company’s competitive position now and into the future.”

Rotterdam railcar removed from sculpture
The Rotterdam Metro railcar which overran the end of an elevated section of track has been removed from the whale’s tail sculpture that caught the train, preventing it from falling more than 30 feet. The Associated Press reports a pair of cranes lifted and lowered the car from the accident site in Spijkenisse, Netherlands, at the end of a day-long operation that saw the car cut loose from the rest of the train. A brief video of the operation is available here.

Return of lockdowns brings rail service reductions in France, Britain
The return of COVID-19 lockdowns is leading to changes in rail service in France and Britain. As of today, passenger operations in France will be slashed by as much as 70% by national rail carrier SNCF, The Local.fr reports. Just 30% of TGV high speed trains operating, along with just 15% of international Eurostar trains. Additional adjustments could come next week, SCNF says. The move comes as ridership fell to 15% of normal levels after France instituted a new national lockdown on Oct. 30. The ban on non-essential travel is expected to last for at least a month. In Britain, where a second lockdown takes effect Thursday, the website The Railway Hub reports service suspensions by Hull Trains of its London service, and London-based Grand Central has said it will suspend all service Nov. 7-Dec. 2 after offering reduced service through Nov. 6.

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