It is not only the current CEO of VIA who expressed a lack of interest in operating long distance trains. In a speech in 2012 Marc Laliberté indicated that trains only make sense for distances between 160 and 800 km. He said for shorter trips people should drive or take a bus and for longer trips they should fly. Of course most people do just that and have for many decades.
http://www.viarail.ca/sites/all/files/m ... _ML_EN.pdf
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Despite this negativity, the Canadian (except for timekeeping) continues to be an excellent train and the Ocean is still very good. I ride both trains every year. Thanks to a substantial amount of infrastructure money from the federal government, VIA was able to rebuild four Park cars and eight Château sleepers to create Prestige class. There were some problems and delays with the rebuilds and I had doubts this would be completed. It seems VIA is pleased with the enthusiasm from the many people willing to pay upwards of $10,000 for a train trip in peak season. The losses on the operation of the Canadian have dropped significantly over three years.
I still fear for the future of the Canadian because of the extreme lateness of almost every run this winter season. Off-peak passenger loads have always been low, but from my observations they are better than they were in the 1980s and 1990s. When word gets around these passenger levels may not continue. I suppose a lot of people who take the train the entire route as I do don't mind being late as long as they have no plans for the day of arrival - and in some cases it's prudent to have two clear days! Intermediate travel is not practical and even I will not take the Canadian to or from Winnipeg or Jasper as I have many times in the past.