Behind the scenes

Watch how a bridge is replaced overnight!

Behind the scenes, every day, VIA Rail maintenance crews and engineers take care of the infrastructure we own to keep it ship-shape. Though VIA Rail only owns about 3% of the 12,500 km network on which we operate, there is ongoing upkeep to do; we maintain our tracks to the highest standards to ensure a safe and comfortable ride for our passengers.

And when it comes to larger-scale projects such as replacing a bridge or adding a new turnout—also known as a railroad switch, there is the added element of time. These huge endeavors need to happen overnight, so that train service is not disrupted.

Unlike most things these days, the railway is built to last. A new bridge is designed to withstand the test of time - for 100 years or more. It takes months of careful planning before our crews can get to work. But once they do, they only have about 12 hours to complete the job. Every minute counts.

If you want to see how it’s done, we’ve condensed 12 hours’ work into one-minute time-lapse videos for a recent bridge replacement and turnout replacement. A big thank you to our dedicated employees who successfully completed both projects, without a hitch, and without disrupting service.

Bridge replacement:

Turnout replacement: