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Train groups band together for a louder voice

Friday, June 21, 2013   by: Staff



Passenger train groups form Northern and Eastern Ontario Rail Network for a louder voice

SAULT STE. MARIE - On June 18, 2013, local groups which promote passenger train service used on-line technology to meet and form a first-ever network of passenger train advocacy groups in Northern and Eastern Ontario.

Representatives from the following groups and communities participated:

  • Committee Promoting Muskoka Rail Travel (CPMRT) (Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Huntsville, Georgian Bay, Township of Muskoka Lakes and Township of Lake of Bays)
  • South River
  • North Bay Area
  • Transport Pontiac Renfrew (Mattawa to Ottawa area)
  • Cochrane and Area Ratepayers Cooperative (CARC)
  • Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT)
  • Transport Acton Ontario (TAO)

Others invited but unable to attend included Nipissing First Nation, Serpent River First Nation, Mushkeygowuk Council, Thunder Bay, Marathon and Sudbury.

The local rail groups have each been working hard in their own corners of Northern Ontario and Eastern Ontario to stop the reckless abandonment of passenger rail service at a time when every other G8 country is investing heavily in rail.

At the meeting, they discovered that they have a common determination to have effective train service in order to support their economic development (including tourism), social and health care needs and student travel to and from post-secondary institutions.

Tourism alone is suffering terribly as tourists from Europe and Asia, as well as other parts of Canada, tend to select destinations to which they can travel by train.

The groups are delighted that they will now be working together through the new Northern and Eastern Ontario Rail Network.

They can share their research, expertise and experience and together will have a louder voice when trying to influence governments.

The network will be a part of Transport Action Ontario, a province-wide non-government organization advocating for sustainable transportation.

As part of an Ontario-wide organization headquartered in Toronto and Ottawa, the network will be heard more clearly by Queen's Park and Ottawa.

Of immediate concern is the need to convince the Ontario government to stop the divestiture of Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) and restore passenger train service along the Ontario Northland line from Toronto to Cochrane.

There is also an urgent need to restore the passenger rail lines between Sault Ste. Marie and Ottawa, Cochrane to Hearst and Thunder Bay to Sudbury.

About NORDIK Institute

NORDIK Institute is a community-based research institute at Algoma University.

NORDIK has conducted research on a variety of topics including the social economy, culture and the arts, and socio-economic impact analysis.

NORDIK also works closely with Indigenous communities to respond to their research needs.


Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
JediMindTrick 6/21/2013 10:22:09 AM Report

Trains are just plain awesome.
Just Curious 6/21/2013 11:08:35 AM Report

The problem with all this train business,to me anyway,is the fact that the lines have been allowed to deteriorate to the point that even freights are restricted to 15 mph on large sections of the roadbed on both the Algoma Central and The Soo-Sudbury line. Most of the line from here to Sudbury would have to be totally rebuilt just to operate a Bud car safely. The cost to rebuild a functioning passenger rail system in this country would be absolutely horrendous.I would love to be able to take a train or Bud car any where just for the sake of the trip but we will never see it.IMHO.
Resident 6/21/2013 11:27:34 AM Report

With the kind of money that has "disappeared and/or is misspent" by both provincial and federal governments we could have at least a basic passenger train route.
jimbobdog1 6/21/2013 12:48:13 PM Report

Unless my memory is completely shot, didn't Huron Central lay hands on something like $31,000,000 to upgrade the rail bed? I wonder where that money is!
Slim Shady 6/21/2013 12:50:03 PM Report


I agree, train travel is so relaxing… way better than a bus or driving long distances.

@Just Curious

I agree with you on that however just recently they have rebuilt most of the corridor between Soo and Sudbury with monies they received when they threatened to shut down….

I worked for CN Rail back in the early 1990’s. The number one problem with train travel is ridership - Plain and simple. Not enough people are willing to take the train even in southern Ontario. Low ridership translates in high prohibitive operating costs. As a result, less trains are run, they are unreliable (time wise… always running late). The distances in Northern Ontario are too great and the number of people too small to pay for the costs.

In Europe, trains are the way to go…. They are always on time and efficient. They have convenient stops and are accessible.

I think it is embarrassing as a Canadian to have one of the world’s biggest and most advanced manufacturer of high speed super conductor trains (Bombardier in Quebec) and we do not have ONE high speed train and track in Canada to showcase our technology?!?! If we had a high speed corridor between Montréal and Windsor imagine the possibilities?! Living in Toronto and working in Montreal 2 hours later?!
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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