ONR's "Northlander" To Be Discontinued.

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Re: ONR's "Northlander" To Be Discontinued.

Postby XC Tower » Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:22 am

Thank you for the links to the various articles, Labienordique. Seeing that the ONTC issue and the "Northlander" have not been forgotten gives hope......I've still got a dream to catch the passenger train north out of Cochrane after coming up on one from Toronto...









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Re: ONR's "Northlander" To Be Discontinued.

Postby labaienordique » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:14 pm

Here are a few more links:

Politician's reflect on Auditor General's report
http://www.cbc.ca/video/news/audioplayer.html?clipid=2423614445

Auditor General's report:
http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/news_en/new ... e_ontc.pdf
http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/reports_en/ONTC_en.pdf

I am hopeful as well to see the return of the passenger train so that I can make trips from North Bay to Toronto, or towards up North in comfort & at ease during the winter.
La CTON n'est PAS à vendre! ~ The ONTC is NOT for sale!
Une nouvelle province au Canada: le nord de l'Ontario.
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Re: ONR's "Northlander" To Be Discontinued.

Postby labaienordique » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:08 pm

http://www.nugget.ca/2014/01/14/sousa-talks-about-ontc

Finance Minister Charles Sousa would like to see the return of passenger rail service to Northern Ontario.

But as long as it's sustainable.

Sousa spoke to local media Tuesday morning before holding a pre-budget consultation meeting at Nipissing University.

“The ONTC . . . I understand the concerns that people have, we all understand even the communities in North Bay understand and in Nipissing that it's not sustainable the way it was functioning and operating,” he said.

“We had to make appropriate changes. We need to have the services and passenger rail and the carrier services to the north. I get that. I want to see that continue. We want to make certain its sustainable and I want to make certain its effective. And we will find ways to make that so.”

When asked if passenger rail service could return to Northern Ontario, Sousa responded, “I would say that is the thing that people in Northern Ontario are expecting and I would like to see that happen.”
La CTON n'est PAS à vendre! ~ The ONTC is NOT for sale!
Une nouvelle province au Canada: le nord de l'Ontario.
A new province in Canada: Northern Ontario
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Re: ONR's "Northlander" To Be Discontinued.

Postby dowlingm » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:42 pm

I think Sousa was just saying things the locals wanted to hear, but if Northlander was reinstated I think it would be most logical to contract VIA to do it. They have the economies of scale in staff and equipment plus a more fit for purpose reservation system.
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Re: ONR's "Northlander" To Be Discontinued.

Postby NS VIA FAN » Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:07 am

dowlingm wrote:I think Sousa was just saying things the locals wanted to hear, but if Northlander was reinstated I think it would be most logical to contract VIA to do it. They have the economies of scale in staff and equipment plus a more fit for purpose reservation system.

Perhaps a weekend train between Toronto and North Bay or at least to Huntsville. North of North Bay, except on holidays there was hardly ever more than a bus load of passengers on the Northlander anyway which Ontario Northland buses now seem to be able to handle with two schedules a day each way.
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Re: ONR's "Northlander" To Be Discontinued.

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:15 am

To put it mildly, Canadians, your rail passenger advocacy activities directed to this Northland train are misdirected.

You folks up there have little and waning interests in Ottawa towards any kind of a national passenger system; while down here, 'Sequester' notwithstanding, Amtrak got an appropriation increase and has had some specific funds (Hurricane Sandy) released for general purposes. Most of the funds are directed to 'capital' projects as 'the stuff that counts' - the Corridors, when considering Local level funding, are practically break even.

Since VIA is allowed to be as 'opaque' with its financial information as it is, the public cannot determine which routes, hopefully your Quebec-Toronto Corridor where meaningful service is presently provided (looks like your ostensible Corridors West of Toronto are going on the discard pile), pull their weight and those than can only be considered 'The Biggest Loser'.

Now I know first hand (I've been to Kapitiuchuan Club in this life lest we forget) that there are areas in which rail reprersents the only access to and from on line communities, but it appears in the case of the Northland, the Provincial government has determined such is not the case. However, be it noted that some 'remote services' are provided with glorified Fairmont (and I sure don't mean the hotel chain that now operated most of your railroad hotels) track cars. Those may be put-putting their way to Churchill, and for that matter, KC.

So I'm inclined to hold that efforts to restore the Northlander are simply directed to winning a battle, when there is reasonable possibility that the war, i.e. any intercity rail passenger in Canada, could be lost.

disclaimers: I have not set foot on Canadian soil since 1988; I have not boarded a VIA train since 1980; and I'll readilly accept that VIA could give Amtrak a lesson or two with on-board service.
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Re: ONR's "Northlander" To Be Discontinued.

Postby dowlingm » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:06 am

For me the problem is at provincial level. Not only is Ontario generally unexcited by medium distance rail, it contrived to have a major transit agency located at a remove from the Ministry of Transportation in the Ministry of Northern Development, but have that agency operate direct to Toronto with no synergies with the adjacent publicly owned GO Transit/Metrolinx operations. There appears to be an attitude that if the Feds want to continue to operate VIA (including the remote service to White River) then Ontario will just sit back and observe, making no moves to form the sort of partnerships that seem to be bearing fruit in VA, NC, IL etc. I was convinced that when VIA pulled off the Niagara Falls route except to maintain Maple Leaf, it would surely be as part of a quiet arrangement with Metrolinx to assume the route, but no.

Basically Canada needs something akin to PRIIA to wake up the provinces to the need for them to be full participants.
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Re: ONR's "Northlander" To Be Discontinued.

Postby Tadman » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:14 am

it's not sustainable the way it was functioning


What wasn't sustainable and how would you improve sustainability? The operation was a tiny old GP38 and a handful of coaches on a bare bones schedule. It wasn't exactly like they were paying for the Orient Express to get a few people around the Northland... I don't live in the area nor pretend to be an expert, so I'm curious.
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Re: ONR's "Northlander" To Be Discontinued.

Postby dowlingm » Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:22 pm

Tadman wrote:
it's not sustainable the way it was functioning


What wasn't sustainable and how would you improve sustainability? The operation was a tiny old GP38 and a handful of coaches on a bare bones schedule. It wasn't exactly like they were paying for the Orient Express to get a few people around the Northland... I don't live in the area nor pretend to be an expert, so I'm curious.
That quote was the minister's.

I think a big issue was the life expiry of the coaching stock. Just before the hammer dropped a GO bilevel was borrowed to be tacked onto Northlander as a trial, but there's no info on whether that was the last straw or that the brain trust in Northern Development hadn't already committed to try and divest itself of ONTC rather than acquire additional stock. The basic stock would probably have been tough to endure for several hours but Metrolinx themselves are ordering an upgraded interior for the just announced new bilevel order presumably because people travelling from far afield like Kitchener or Niagara Falls (in summer) are complaining of sore bums.

The situation with the ACR will be interesting. If the Feds don't reverse course on that one or the Province doesn't step in, surely White River-Sudbury is next, and no chance for Northlander restoration?

EDIT: I note (in small text on the ONTC website) that bus travellers are being hit for $2.50 as a facility fee to board at Toronto Bay Street. Much more of that and people might as well just take the TTC to Yorkdale.
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Re: ONR's "Northlander" To Be Discontinued.

Postby labaienordique » Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:16 pm

ONTC plan goes to provincial committee
http://www.nugget.ca/2014/02/27/ontc-pl ... -committee
La CTON n'est PAS à vendre! ~ The ONTC is NOT for sale!
Une nouvelle province au Canada: le nord de l'Ontario.
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Re: ONR's "Northlander" To Be Discontinued.

Postby labaienordique » Sat May 03, 2014 8:42 am

A bit of politicking, but ...

New Democrats have plans to bring back the Northlander
http://www.timminstimes.com/2014/04/25/ ... orthlander

Gilles Bisson Makes Important Announcement for Northern Ontario
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... Rcxnw8WTOc
La CTON n'est PAS à vendre! ~ The ONTC is NOT for sale!
Une nouvelle province au Canada: le nord de l'Ontario.
A new province in Canada: Northern Ontario
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Re: ONR's "Northlander" To Be Discontinued.

Postby dowlingm » Sat May 03, 2014 5:12 pm

Now that they have brought down the government not much of anything will happen for months no matter what the result of the election.
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Re: ONR's "Northlander" To Be Discontinued.

Postby labaienordique » Thu May 08, 2014 6:48 am

More politics, but another mention of passenger rail of the ONR. It's at the bottom, but it appears to be mentioned on the NDP site:

http://ontariondp.com/en/transitletter

We need to restore passenger service on the Ontario Northland, provide more snowplows and trucks during the winter and make a long-term commitment to widen a stretch of the TransCanada highway every year.
La CTON n'est PAS à vendre! ~ The ONTC is NOT for sale!
Une nouvelle province au Canada: le nord de l'Ontario.
A new province in Canada: Northern Ontario
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Re: ONR's "Northlander" To Be Discontinued.

Postby dowlingm » Thu May 08, 2014 8:51 am

If Horwath is interested in the North Bay-Toronto corridor as a full participant in passenger rail, she would want integration into Metrolinx and/or VIA rather than running an orphan rail operation to/from the North Bay area. But that wouldn't play to maximising employment and votes in North Bay and region.
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Re: ONR's "Northlander" To Be Discontinued.

Postby labaienordique » Fri May 23, 2014 3:32 pm

La CTON n'est PAS à vendre! ~ The ONTC is NOT for sale!
Une nouvelle province au Canada: le nord de l'Ontario.
A new province in Canada: Northern Ontario
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