The Government of Ontario may have finally taken its first real tangible step forward to make passenger rail service in the northeast a reality. The Associate Minister of Transportation, Stan Cho, and his ministerial colleagues — Victor Fedeli (MPP for Nipissing), George Pirie (Timmins) and Graydon Smith (Parry Sound-Muskoka) — were among those who announced … Continue reading Northlander train set order: A time to celebrate or remain vigilant?
Ministry of Transportation
Carrot dangling the return of train service
[ Ontario Northland Test Train near Powassan ] Is the government truly committed to "Get it done"? "To the people of Northeastern Ontario, you have my word. We will bring the Northlander back to Timmins and Cochrane" said Premier Ford during his swearing-in ceremony at Queen's Park this summer. Folks, this could only mean one … Continue reading Carrot dangling the return of train service
The return of passenger rail is moving forward … at a snail’s pace
[ Englehart ONR Station ] If a political promise is made in Northern Ontario, but there's nobody around to see it through, does it still mean we get a passenger train back? The provincial government made an announcement regarding the return of passenger rail service between Timmins, North Bay and Toronto. On the surface, this … Continue reading The return of passenger rail is moving forward … at a snail’s pace
ONTC, VIA neglecting Northerners
[ White River VIA Station platform, 2021 ] "Connecting the North", "A more humane way to travel" and "Love the Way" are just some of the marketing catch phrases used by Ontario Northland and VIA Rail Canada to attract and entice customers. Whether by bus, train or a combination of the two modes, these publicly … Continue reading ONTC, VIA neglecting Northerners
Smoke and mirrors checking the choo-choo tracks
There was a lot of hype and publicity surrounding Ontario Northland's most recent test train to measure transit times between North Bay and Toronto. For the first time in nine years, a passenger train operated on this route with the purpose of collecting data to support the ONR's latest business case for reintroducing passenger rail … Continue reading Smoke and mirrors checking the choo-choo tracks
Double standards in the deployment and delivery of train service
Northerners are once again finding themselves taking a back seat to the transportation interests and concerns of politicians in Southern Ontario. The Ministry of Transportation very recently unveiled a pilot project for GO Train service between Toronto and London — by way of Kitchener, Stratford and St Mary's. The trial runs are expected to cost … Continue reading Double standards in the deployment and delivery of train service
Missing the mark on the North’s passenger rail plan
[ Former Porquis Junction ONR Shelter ] 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 … Continue reading Missing the mark on the North’s passenger rail plan
What is the government hiding in its passenger rail plan for the North?
[ Ontario Northland corporate office in North Bay ] Secretive ... Aloof ... Lacking Transparency ... These are just some of the terms one might use to describe the provincial government's handling of restoring passenger rail services in north-eastern Ontario. Over the span of a thousand days, various politicians, ministries and agencies of the Crown … Continue reading What is the government hiding in its passenger rail plan for the North?
A tale of two transit systems
[ LEFT : GO Test Train at Gormley GO Station — Photo : Metrolinx | RIGHT : North Bay ONR Station ] 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 … Continue reading A tale of two transit systems
Connecting the North : an exercise of consistently getting it wrong
[ Abandonned Northlander Tee-Train Fleet ] The Ministry of Transportation will be publishing sometime soon the results of a passenger rail survey it conducted in the region. The government claims this is an integral part of the process of keeping people safe, providing reliable transportation options and connecting communities in the North. Politicians of all … Continue reading Connecting the North : an exercise of consistently getting it wrong