TO IMPLEMENTATION OF PREMIER FORD’S PROMISE RE: PASSENGER RAIL
It has been 6 months since our PC Leader (now Premier) Doug Ford promised to bring
back full passenger rail service to the North[i]. At the time, this was welcome news should they be elected.
Now they have been elected and Northerners are anxious to see this promise happen.
For the past 5 years NEORN has been busy encouraging Northern Ontario municipal councils,
First Nation councils and organizations, the Canadian Federation of Students, economic development organizations as well as several federal and provincial politicians to pass resolutions of support for the return of passenger rail to northern Ontario. Last week NEORN provided to Premier Ford and Northern Ontario MPPs copies of these resolutions from virtually every community on the Toronto-Cochrane rail line from Washago north as well as the Algoma Central Rail line from the Sault to Hearst.
As NEORN spokespeople state in their recent Northern Policy Institute commentary[ii], the NEORN LOOP is a “modern, innovative, comprehensive and integrated passenger rail service (that) could radically enhance Northern Ontario’s regional intercommunity connectivity and do so using existing rail infrastructure” along with bus feeder lines to provide service to Northern Ontario and connect it with southern Ontario and the rest of Canada.
In the past year, another group calling itself ‘All Aboard Northern Ontario’ has developed a proposal entitled ‘NortheastLynx’, a plan to revive the Northlander route. NEORN welcomes this initiative and any others that may come forth to get this train service back on the rails.
To the Provincial government, the ball is in your court.
Time to act and make good on your promise of restoring rail passenger services in the North.
you are all invited to the CAPT Annual General Meeting:
– When: Tues, Oct 16, 2018 at 4:00 pm
– Where: Sault Ste. Marie Civic Centre, Plummer Room
– What: the meeting will include the following: a report about what CAPT
has done over the past year, election of new Board members, financial statement
CAPT sends its congratulations to Chief Jason Gauthier and Missanabie Cree First Nation for approval for ROC
CAPT sends a huge congratulations to Chief Jason Gauthier and Missanabie Cree First Nation (MCFN) for successfully being approved for their Rail Operating Certificate (ROC). They are the very first First Nation in Ontario to receive a Rail Operating Certificate. Thank you, Chief Gauthier, for all of the hard work that you did to make this happen. This is an important step that was required for MCFN to be able to run the Bear Train between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst. Now that MCFN has provided Transport Canada with a fully completed business plan and their ROC application has been approved, we urge Transport Canada to provide the required operating funding. Considering that the annual $2 million funding would result in over $48 million in regional economic benefits and $6 million in tax revenue, TC will surely see that this passenger train service has to be funded.
MEDIA RELEASE JUNE 11, 2018 PASSENGER RAIL SUMMIT VIDEOS AVAILABLE ONLINE – . . . . . . . SOON PASSENGER TRAINS ON TRACK?
More than 120 individuals from all walks of life attended the recent Northeastern Ontario Passenger Rail Summit in Sault Ste. Marie sponsored by NEORN (Northeastern Ontario Rail Network), CAPT (Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains) and CPMRT (Committee Promoting Muskoka Rail Travel). The Summit was, from all media indications, declared a huge success. The Summit was held to inform the public of the importance of rail passenger services andintroduce the ‘Loop’ concept, that being all the short line railways in the northeast, ONR (Ontario Northland Railway), ACR (Algoma Central Railway div. Canadian National), OVR (Ottawa Valley Railway), HCR (Huron Central Railway) and CNR (Canadian National Railway from North Bay to Toronto) which today form a continuous rail network moving freight. This same rail infrastructure could be utilized to enhance tourism and provide needed passenger services for all communities and First Nations along these lines.
Noted speakers from the rail industry, First Nations, Senior and Disability groups, Politicians, Student, Teacher and Environment Associations and various transportation specialists extolled the virtues of rail passenger services. The videotapes of these presentations can now be viewed at www.neorn.ca. Something as important as the social and economic reasons why the return of passenger rail in northeastern Ontario is needed can now be viewed by everyone – including those who could not attend the Sault Ste. Marie Summit due to the distanced to travel.
As a follow-up to the Sault Ste. Marie gathering for those who couldn’t attend, CAPT, NEORN and CPMRT have conducted RALLY FOR RAIL Town Hall meetings throughout the northeast in communities along the highway 11 corridor from the Muskoka region to Cochrane, along Highway 17E including Blind River and Sudbury and north of Sault Ste. Marie including Wawa, Dubreuilville, Hearst and Searchmont. At one small community there were 114 people present – underscoring the desire to hear about the possibility of passenger trains returning to the north. These pre-election public meetings were to help participants make informed decisions in the provincial election.
Our new government made promises during the campaign to restore passenger train service in northeastern Ontario. NEORN and its sister committees intend to make sure they come good on these promises with constant reminders, meetings and town hall gatherings. Passenger trains are efficient, effective, accessible, affordable, safe, reliable and environmentally responsible transportation all year round. The provincial government must act promptly now to address these needs of the northeast, NOW, FOR THE PEOPLE!
For Information and to view videos of the rail summit, visit NEORN at: www.neorn.ca.
‘MOVE PEOPLE, NOT JUST FREIGHT ON EXISTING TRACKS’