it's time to RESTORe the NORTHLANDER TRAIN SERVICE
January / 10 / 2018
Restoring the passenger train service to Northern Ontario must be a political priority.
This valuable service helps connect our region to the south in a safe, convenient way for everyone, from students coming back to visit their families to seniors travelling for medical appointments.
The establishment of the All Aboard Northern Ontario Coalition to examine steps needed to restore passenger train service to Northern Ontario and Muskoka.
It has been six years since the provincial government cancelled the Northlander train, with a huge impact on communities across Northern Ontario and Muskoka. Politically it shows in no uncertain terms that there are two Ontario's - one that counts and one that doesn't.
The abandonment of the Northlander mirrors a pattern across rural and northern Ontario. It is unacceptable for government to state that subsidized public transit is a priority for urban, suburban Canada while the people of the north are abandoned to shut down rail stations and privatized road maintenance.
Charlie has pledged his support to help the efforts to make passenger train service a reality - welcoming the work of the All Aboard coalition and planning to work full out with the provincial NDP to restore the Northlander train service.
Public transit is a right. We must look forward to the restoration of this historic symbol of northern pride.
Click here to read the article "Don't Stop This Train" by Charlie Angus published on the Huffington Post August 31, 2012.
Corina Moore, President and CEO of Ontario Northland with MP Charlie Angus,
MP Carol Hughes and MPP John Vanthof at PDAC 2018
Rally for the Rail Meetings - May 2018
Meetings were hosted by the Northeastern Ontario Rail Network (NEORN) which is building public support for the return of passenger rail service throughout the North.
“It’s a follow-up to the summit we did in Sault Ste. Marie on the 19th of April,” said Lucille Frith, a rally organizer. “Our very successful experience was having over 120 people, about 23 speakers and a lot of press coverage regarding the social and economic needs of Northern Ontario, and the benefits passenger rail would bring for them. It was never our intention to stop there. Our intention was to go out and tell people how change might happen. These Rally for Rail meetings are primarily to explain the process. We know we have the infrastructure. The tracks are there. They’re still running freight. They’ve just stopped running passenger rail … We just need to get passenger trains back on those tracks. What people don’t understand is how that actually happens so with the election coming up, this is their opportunity to participate in making that decision happen.”
The meeting in Timmins took place in the auditorium at the McIntyre Community Centre. The rally in Cochrane was held in the community hall at the Tim Horton Event Centre.
“We basically intend to explain ... the process of electing a party to the government of Ontario that has the position that they will return passenger rail service to Northern Ontario in several different locations. The Northeastern Ontario Rail Network is apolitical. We’re an advocacy group to bring back passenger rail. We want the political parties to recognize the essential need for passenger rail and hopefully if they are a wise group of people, they will understand not only does Southern Ontario need connectivity by rail, Northern Ontario, especially with the vast differences need it." - Lucille Frith