Category Archives for "Northern Ontario"

May 24

Need for Assistance to Short Line Railways

By TAO-admin | Intercity Rail and Bus , Latest News , Northern Ontario

On May 23, 2018, our affiliate, Transport Action Canada, sent the following letter to Federal Transport Minister Garneau concerning the need for supportive funding for short line railway operators in Canada, such as the Huron Central Railway.


Dear Minister Garneau,

Transport Action Canada (TAC) strongly supports the call by the Railway Association of Canada (see below) for a coordinated federal-provincial funding mechanism for the shortline railway operators in Canada. The urgent need for such a fund, as exists in the US for their shortline railways, is exemplified by the recent announcement that the Huron Central Railway will cease operations at the end of 2018.

The Huron Central Railway is a key component in efforts by our sister organization in Northeastern Ontario, NEORN, to help create a rail Loop through Sault Ste. Marie to revive passenger rail service as well as to preserve freight service for several local industries.

Sincerely yours,

Bruce Budd, President
Transport Action Canada
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Comments by the Railway Association of Canada

The recent Canada Transportation Act Review report recognized the importance of Canada’s shortline rail sector and recommended the creation of a federal-provincial program to support capital shortline infrastructure investments through contributions, grants, or low-cost, long-term financing.

“Despite similar studies and reports recognizing the lack of public funding for local and regional railways – or shortlines – governments have not created programs to help these companies capitalize on growth opportunities and meet evolving rail safety regulatory requirements,” said RAC Acting President Gérald Gauthier. “This type of program might have prevented the discontinuance of Huron Central Railway. Closure of this railway – and potentially other shortlines – puts safety at risk, increases congestion on public roads and harms the environment.”

Canada’s 50-plus shortlines provide vital first-mile/last-mile service to customers not served directly by Class 1 railways. By safely and efficiently moving traffic to and from the main lines, where CN and CP handle the long-haul transportation, they help shippers connect to the global marketplace.

Shortlines compete directly with the subsidized trucking sector, which has access to publicly funded infrastructure. For years, and most recently in its pre-federal budget 2018 submission and 2017 Ontario pre-budget submission, RAC has advocated for governments to level the playing field for infrastructure benefits. Investments in shortline infrastructure would help to maintain vital rail service to remote communities, improve safety and limit transportation-related emissions. This infographic highlights the environmental benefits of shipping by rail, the challenges that local and regional railways face, and how government funding would help to ensure that shortlines can support Canada’s sustainable growth.

May 22

Rally for Rail in Northern Ontario

By TAO-admin | Intercity Rail and Bus , Latest News , Northern Ontario

Our affiliate organization, Northern and Eastern Ontario Rail Network (NEORN) is holding a series of 10 “RALLY FOR RAIL” events across Northern Ontario between May 23 and May 31.  All community members are invited to attend and learn how passenger rail service to their community will happen and how their vote in the upcoming June election could make this a reality. The government needs to reflect the will of the people in northeastern Ontario!

Details on the 10 rallies can be found here:   NEORN-RallyMay2018

Jan 29

Revised Ministry of Northern Development & Mines(MNDM) Mandate Needed to Include Passenger Rail

By TAO-admin | Intercity Rail and Bus , Latest News , Northern Ontario

Our affiliate organization, the Northern and Eastern Ontario Rail Network (NEORN) has issued a media release requesting the Ontario government to revise the mandate for the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines to include pursuit of passenger rail service for Northern Ontario.  This would mirror other political parties which have included passenger rail for Northern Ontario in their announced platforms.

The NEORN release can be viewed here:  NEORN-2018-01-29

Aug 03

Brutal Treatment by CN damaging VIA’s Canadian train

By TAO-admin | Intercity Rail and Bus , Latest News , Northern Ontario

Transport Action Ontario and our affiliate, the Northern and Eastern Ontario Rail Network (NEORN) have jointly issued a media release decrying the extremely poor on-time performance of the Canadian.  Data shows that the Canadian from Vancouver to Toronto was on schedule only once between March 2 and June 22, 2017.  The blame is placed on CN, which is disregarding its contractual agreement to efficiently handle all VIA passenger trains on its lines.

The groups are calling on Transport Minister Marc Garneau to resolve the situation.

The media release can be viewed here:  TAO-NEORN 2017-08-03