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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

“A goal without a plan is just a wish…”

  This quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was what motivated me to establish All Aboard Northern Ontario (AANO), a grassroots advocacy group which has set out to produce a viable public passenger transportation solution for the region. When I volunteered to launch this project 18 months ago, I wanted to demonstrate to our elected officials […]

NortheastLynx Update

Dear Mayor George Lefebvre, My colleague, Éric Boutilier of All Aboard Northern Ontario, has asked me to provide you and your colleagues with an update on our upcoming NortheastLynx proposal for the revival of the former Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) rail passenger service linking Temiskaming, Cochrane, North Bay and Toronto. We have made tremendous […]

Volume #6 – Your Stories (Vos histoires)

HOW HAS THE CANCELLATION OF THE NORTHLANDER TRAIN AFFECTED YOU?Comment l’annulation du Northlander vous a impacté? Name / Nom: JoseeComments / Commentaires: I’ve only moved to Northeastern Ontario in 2016 and the lack of public transportation has made it near impossible for family and friends to visit. Some live in Ottawa/Montreal, some friends are abroad. When they […]

Rail advocates applaud ONTC bus expansion

NORTH BAY, Ontario – Two Ontario rail advocacy groups say the recent expansion of Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) bus service is not only the first sign of hope for northern public transportation users in many years, but it also paves the way to better rail service in the future. “Any improvement of our system […]