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Evangeline (train)

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Title: Evangeline (train)  
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Subject: Via Rail, Enterprise (Via Rail train), Sudbury–White River train, Middleton, Nova Scotia, Montreal–Gaspé train
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Evangeline (train)

Service type Inter-city rail
Status Discontinued
Locale Nova Scotia
First service August 1956
Last service January 15, 1990
Former operator(s) Dominion Atlantic Railway, Via Rail
Start Halifax
End Yarmouth
Distance travelled 346.2 km (215.1 mi)
Track owner(s) CPR

The Evangeline was a passenger train operated from 1956 to 1990 by the Dominion Atlantic Railway and Via Rail Canada between Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Dominion Atlantic

The Evangeline Dayliner service was inaugurated by Canadian Pacific Railway's subsidiary the Dominion Atlantic Railway in 1956 upon receipt of several Budd Rail Diesel Cars, which replaced conventional trains. Despite being operated by the DAR, their schedules were integrated with the entire CPR passenger system and made connections with CPR passenger/vehicle ferry service from Saint John, New Brunswick at Digby, as well as CNR passenger service at Halifax and DAR's mixed freight/passenger service at Windsor. The Evangeline followed the route of previous DAR trains such as the Flying Bluenose.

Via Rail

Via Rail Canada took over CPR passenger service in 1978 and fully integrated operations in 1979. Via continued to operate the RDC equipment on the Halifax-Yarmouth route along the DAR and gave its trains the name Evangeline in 1983, following several highly successful years at a time of record-high gasoline prices.

Improvements to parallel Highway 101 and competing bus service led to Via considering the abandonment of the Evangeline during the mid-1980s but changes in the federal government placed a moratorium on abandonment for several years and Via altered the schedule and improved connections, resulting in quadrupling of passenger counts. Train lengths expanded from 1 car to as many as 4 cars at peak service.

Drastic cuts to Via Rail's funding in the 1989 federal budget saw Minister of Transport Benoît Bouchard authorize the abandonment of 55% of Via's service, including the Evangeline, effective January 15, 1990. The Via train had been the only user of the DAR rails west of Kentville to Yarmouth and CPR promptly abandoned the trackage in March 1990.

External links

  • "Evangeline", Dominion Atlantic Railway Digital Preservation Institute
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