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OnLine Ottawa rail passengers thrown off course by First nations blockade ilana belfer 393 words 30 December 2012 Postmedia Breaking News CWNS English Copyright © 2012 Canwest News Service OTTAWA - An Idle No More protest blocking VIA Rail's Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto corridor Sunday night meant travellers hoping to get to their holiday destinations were idle a lot longer than they wanted to be. At around 6 p.m., things were chaotic at VIA's Fallowfield station as would-be passengers waited for answers and refunds. Lineups at the service counter stretched from one end of the small station to the other.

TD "People have been making phone calls, talking to people ... it's hard to know what's going on - we're sort of hearing bits and pieces ... It's confusion now for sure," said Erin Thompson, who was supposed to be on a train to Toronto. Thompson lives in Ottawa and would have had a place to spend the night. But, for others, it was more complicated. On Saturday, Jasmine Hartin was vacationing in Mexico. By Sunday evening, she was far from relaxed. "I flew home because there was a death in the family. I paid an arm and a leg for my ticket," said Hartin, 22, who's from Kingston where the wake was being held Sunday night. She was trying to make it home for the funeral on Monday. The next train, at 9 the next morning, wouldn't get her there in time for the 11 o'clock funeral. "I can't have any closure because they're burying him tomorrow so it's pretty bad," she said. "I am even considering seeing if people want to pitch in on a cab." "This isn't the way to raise awareness," added Ryan Mitz, 20, who commiserated with Hartin about trying to get home. He's from Toronto. Around 45 minutes later, Via Rail staff announced the two trains, now linked together, would be released out of Merickville at 7 p.m. and could be expected at 7:30 p.m. However, they said refunds would still be honoured and available. The update was followed by a cheer, especially by Hartin: "There is a God! I can get my closure," she said. But Ryerson student Alex Kearns, 18, said the news was bitter sweet: "Our parents have to pick us up later now and they work tomorrow. It's a hassle." © Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen RE cana : Canada | ottaw : Ottawa | caon : Ontario | namz : North America

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