VIA Rail train on tracks
The smarter way to travel for the environment

Passenger rail is one of the most environmentally friendly modes of transportation which helps reduce the transportation sector’s contribution to climate change.

Switching to trains as a means of travel is better for the environment.

Car icon

more efficient than road transport in the Corridor

Plane icon

more efficient than air transport in the Corridor

Climate action

VIA Rail train with sunset in the background
Bold climate action is a priority for Canada and VIA Rail has an important role to play to drive the transition towards a low carbon economy.
Target icon

Upgrade GHG reduction targets to support 2050 net-zero emissions ambition.

Icon of a light bulb with a leaf inside

Improve fuel and energy efficiency in all operations.

Icon of the planet with a leaf on it

Complete review of climate change risks and implement action plan.

Testing artificial intelligence to reduce emission

Reduce GHG by -30% by 2030
Compared to its 2005 baseline, VIA Rail achieved its objective to reduce GHG emissions by 20% by 2020. We are now progressing towards our objective to reduce GHG emissions by 30% by 2030. To do so, we plan to upgrade this target as part of our commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050 and are deploying supporting initiatives right now.

In 2022, a pilot program was completed in our simulators in collaboration with Transport Canada and Innovative Solutions Canada Testing Stream, to test EcoRail, an artificial intelligence-enabled software that provides driving recommendations to locomotive engineers to reduce fuel consumption and resulting GHG emissions, without affecting travel time. The preliminary results showed significant benefits, with fuel-saving potential of up to 15%.

Building on that success, VIA Rail announced the extension of the pilot project, which started in 2023, to test the application in real train operations.

Waste reduction

Part of our commitment to delivering a more modern and sustainable transportation network to Canadians also involves reducing our environmental footprint every step of the journey.

Our focus is on minimizing the generation of waste, re-using and recycling.

Water bottle and lunch box on seat tray
Garbage icon

Reduce waste generated in our operations.

Recycling icon

Increase reuse, recycling and organic waste collection.

Offering a zero-waste train

VIA Rail has committed to the ambitious goal of offering a zero-waste experience on board its new Corridor fleet by 2025. While we don’t yet have all the answers, we are using this objective to drive our entire teams to reduce our environmental footprint to the maximum. And our passengers and our planet will benefit.

In 2022, we progressed towards this objective. We initiated changes to products and packaging served on board to reduce waste at the source. For example, we removed extra packaging for sandwiches which alone is planned to reduce waste by more than six tonnes annually. We also completed initial testing of waste collection with onboard employees using a dedicated collection trolley to increase recycling.