Via Rail Canada stepped up damage control and yesterday extended its 60 per cent discount offer after customers jammed phone lines and crashed the agency’s website in a rush to buy tickets.

The deadline, originally today, was moved to Friday at 11:59 p.m. “due to the overwhelming response from customers,” Via Rail spokeswoman Ashley Doyle said yesterday.

The extension couldn’t have come a moment sooner, as a queue at Union Station grew to more than 100 people at one point.

Via announced the discount Sunday in the wake of a brief strike that saw 350 locomotive engineers walk off the job Friday, halting trains and stranding travellers across the country in the middle of the peak summer season.

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