Via Rail has added a direct route from Ottawa to Quebec City and two more departures between Ottawa and Toronto.

The passenger rail service announced Monday it has added a total of 28 new departures each week between Ottawa, Toronto and Quebec City.

The direct service train between Ottawa and Quebec City will leave each location once per day. The two added departures between Ottawa and Toronto bring the total number of trips between the two Ontario cities to 14 per day.

Via Rail also announced new Friday and Sunday departures between Montreal and Toronto to accommodate a high amount of travel on weekends. That brings the total number of trips between the two major cities to 33 on Friday evenings and weekends.

There were also departures added between Montreal and Quebec.

The company said it has rebuilt its diesel locomotives, extending their life by between 15 and 20 years at "half the cost of buying new equipment."

Via also said it has invested $40 million to improve safety at crossings in the Quebec-Windsor corridor.

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