Northern Ontario : More isolated than ever

An open letter to the management and customer relations department of VIA Rail Canada I wanted to provide some feedback regarding the negative impacts I have felt as a result of VIA’s decision to reduce passenger train service in Northern Ontario and the need to restore it immediately. Over the last year and half, travellers […]

Le Nord de l’Ontario : plus isolé que jamais

Une lettre ouverte à l’équipe de gestion et du service à la clientèle de VIA Rail Canada Je vous fais parvenir mes commentaires entourant l’absence de certaines fréquences de vos trains dans le Nord de l’Ontario et du besoin de les remettre en service immédiatement. Au cours de la dernière année et demie, des voyageurs […]

Missing the mark on the North’s passenger rail plan

The Ministry of Transportation and Ontario Northland have finally unveiled an Initial Business Case for passenger rail in Northeastern Ontario … and it’s about time the public was provided with an update. It only took a mere three years into the current government’s term (and a freedom of information request), but Northerners now have a […]

VIA’s Canadian remains reliably unreliable

For the first time in 15 months, a passenger train provided service to Northern communities situated between Winnipeg and Toronto. The Canadian, one of only three intercity passenger trains active in the region, made its first run through remote sections of Northern Ontario since the beginning of the pandemic. Unfortunately, old habits die hard when […]

A tale of two transit systems

The Ministry of Transportation has finally unveiled the results of its northeastern Ontario rail corridor survey. Unsurprisingly, two thirds of respondents indicate they would use a future rail service if provided with an option to depart once a day with costs equivalent to intercommunity bus. This concept shouldn’t be so foreign to politicians and bureaucrats […]

Passenger rail policies: procrastination over progress

The provincial government unveiled a fancy new proposal titled Connecting the North: A draft transportation plan for Northern Ontario. The MTO has indicated they are exploring options for passenger rail services between Toronto, North Bay, Timmins and Cochrane. However, the proposal fails to answer one obvious question: When exactly is our train supposed to return? […]

So what’s taking so long to restore the Northlander?

The Ministry of Transportation is seeking feedback from Northerners to “better understand the unique transportation needs of people and businesses” situated along the Toronto, North Bay and Cochrane rail corridor to “help develop a plan to improve the transportation system” in the region. Remind me again… didn’t Ontario Northland just submit its very own business […]

Anti-rail report flawed and counterproductive

The Northern Policy Institute (NPI) recently published a report titled “The Thin Case for Passenger Rail in Ontario’s Northern Regions” which has left me in a state a profound dismay and disappointment. It contains some very misleading information and does little to improve sustainable transportation options desired by Northerners. The document in question attempts to […]

VIA Rail Canada

Forty years ago this Monday (October 29), VIA Rail Canada was born as an operating railway when it assumed the operation of The Canadian, the Super Continental and the other remaining Western Canadian passenger trains from Canadian Pacific (CP) and Canadian National (CN). The reality is the high hopes of the Canadian public and the […]

Northlander Revival

FOR RELEASE: October 26, 2017 Five years after the provincial government canned the Northlander passenger train without so much as a single public hearing, is there any point in launching a new campaign to revive it? A more appropriate question might be whether Ontarians are all entitled to transportation that is as safe, reliable, comfortable […]