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Via Rail halts trains due to Wet’suwet’en demonstration near Shannonville

A Via train stopped in Napanee on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. Via has now stopped all trains on two routes on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020 as demonstrations in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en continue for a second day at a rail crossing near Shannonville. Photo by Cris Vilela.

As demonstrations in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en territory continue for a second day near Shannonville, Via Rail has announced the stoppage of trains along both the Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto corridor.

“Due to the protesters currently blocking tracks near Belleville, Ontario, train service between Montreal and Toronto and between Ottawa and Toronto is affected in both directions on Friday, February 7, 2020,” Via Rail said in a travel advisory on their website. “None of the trains on these two routes will operate until the issue is resolved. We are asking passengers to check our online tools for departures and arrivals updates.”

According to the advisory, services continue to operate between Ottawa and Montreal, Montreal and Quebec, and west of Toronto in southwestern Ontario. Train 51 will operate between Montreal and Ottawa but will be cancelled between Ottawa ad Toronto today, and the following trains of Feb 7, 2020 have been cancelled: 40, 41, 42, 43, 45, 47, 50, 51 (between Ottawa and Toronto), 52, 53, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65 and 651.

While all other trains between Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto are prepared to leave on schedule should we achieve line clearance, your departure may be delayed or may not operate due to circumstances beyond our control. Please stay tuned for further updates,” the advisory reads.

Demonstrators set up at the Wyman Road rail crossing just outside of Shannonville on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 around 2:30 p.m. The same day, the RCMP moved in on the anti-pipeline camp at Wet’suwet’en territory in B.C. At least six people were arrested, sparking reaction from supporters across the country who moved quickly to organize demonstrations.

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