Posts Tagged ‘Ontario’

Ontario Rail Service Being Studied

May 27, 2021

The province of Ontario, Ontario Northland, and provincial transit agency Metrolinx are working together to restore rail passenger service to Timmins or Cochrane, Ontario.

Service to those points last operated in 2012. Officials on Tuesday released an initial business case for a proposed 13-stop passenger service.

A more detailed business-case study will be needed to flesh out such details as station locations, integration with Ontario Northland’s bus service, and scheduling matters.

The latter include the number of days service would be offered. The advanced business case is expected to be completed in 2022 with service getting underway by mid-decade.

CN Signal Work Sends VIA onto Freight-Only Line

December 1, 2020

VIA Rail Canada trains recently operated over a freight-only stretch of track in Ontario, thus giving rare mileage riders some bonus coverage.

VIA normally uses the Canadian National Oakville Subdivision in the Toronto region but it was closed for two days for signal and infrastructure work.

That sent VIA detouring over the Halton Subdivision. Affected were VIA trains Nos. 71, 72, 75, and 7.

The reoute added 30 minutes to their schedules and they were able to continue stopping in Aldershot, Brantford, Ingersoll, Woodstock, London, Glencoe, Chatham, and Windsor.

The 25-mile freight-only segment used by VIA detours was between Silver and Burlington West, 25 miles.

CN rebuilt it in 1964 for use as a cutoff to bypass downtown Toronto and to reroute freight traffic to Toronto’s Macmillan Yard.

Milton, Ontario, in the middle of that freight-only section is served by GO Transit commuter service on CP Rail’s Galt Subdivision but the CN route has never had regular passenger service since the upgrade aside from a few passenger reroutes every few years.

Ontario Lawmakers Want VIA Service Increased

July 9, 2020

Several Ontario lawmakers are pushing VIA Rail Canada to increase frequency of service on its route between Sudbury and White River.

VIA currently service the remote region with weekly Rail Diesel Car service.

The legislators said the paltry level of service creates a hardship for residents of areas not accessible by road.

Service had been tri-weekly but was reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The six members of Ontario’s Provincial Parliament said in a letter to VIA CEO Cynthia Garneau that their constituents must spend a week in a hotel in Sudbury when they travel for groceries and other supplies, arriving on Sunday and not being able to return until Saturday.

In the other direction, those with guesthouses along the route cannot book guests on consecutive weeks, since guests must currently arrive on Saturday and leave on Sunday.

The lawmakers said adding two additional weekly roundtrips would “instantly improve our constituent’s quality of life.”

In an unrelated development, VIA said this week it will furlough 1,000 unionized employees due to the effects of the pandemic.

Garneau said in a statement that the furloughs, which she said would be temporary, are being undertaken due to a continuing financial crisis at VIA triggered by reduced business during the pandemic.

The statement said VIA will seek to recall the workers to their jobs as soon as customer demand allows.

Agawa Canyon Train Canceled for 2020

June 12, 2020

The Agawa Canyon Tour Train will not operate in 2020.

The operator announced this week that it was canceling this year’s season “in the interest of public health and safety.”

A notice posted on its website indicated that the cancellation “is in line with existing restrictions at both the provincial and federal levels.”

The train provide a 114-mile excursion from Sault Ste. Marie

However, work is continuing on building a new station in Sault Ste. Marie, funded partly with $5 million from the province of Ontario.

Ontario High-Speed Funding on Hold

April 21, 2019

Funding for high-speed rail service between Toronto and Windsor, Ontario, is on hold.

Ontario transportation policy makers have cited fiscal issues for delaying funding of the project that would cut the running time between the two cities from four hours to two.

The project had been expected to be completed by 2031.

“We’re dealing with a deficit and a huge debt so we want to make sure we’re going to make the right investments going forward,” said Transportation minister Jeff Yurek said.

An environment assessment of the project will continue, Yurek said, noting that the province will reveal a transportation plan for Southwest Ontario later this year.

Fundraiser Set for Algoma Central Passenger Service

March 31, 2017

A fundraising campaign to help kick start the return of rail passenger service to the Algoma Central Railway will be held on April 6.

Sponsored by the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains, the event will have folk music and a silent auction at the Algoma Water Town Inn & Suites in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

Proceeds of the event will be used to support the efforts of the Missanabie Cree First Nation to create a non-profit passenger train between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst that would be named the “Mask-wa Oa-ta-ban” or “Bear Train.”

Service on the route ended in 2015 when funding from the Canadian government dried up. The Algoma Central is today part of Canadian National.