Discussion of Canadian Passenger Rail Services such as AMT (Montreal), Go Transit (Toronto), VIA Rail, and other Canadian Railways and Transit

Moderator: Ken V

  by briann
Nipissing MP Bob Wood, today announced that the Government of Canada, under its commitment to provide reasonable access to the national transportation system for remote communities, has created a one-year contribution program to provide $24.4 million in funding for four remote and regional passenger rail lines across Canada.

The purpose of the program is to ensure the continuation of safe, reliable and sustainable regional and remote passenger rail services. Transport Canada and the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada will both contribute to the program.

“Unfortunately the exact amount of money going to Ontario Northland Railway won’t be known until the fall,” said Mr. Wood.

“But this funding is over and above the normal two million dollars annual subsidy and will help to keep passenger rail services running between North Bay and Toronto. The railway provides an invaluable service to our communities by connecting our people, goods and services to the rest of Canada, and support from the Government of Canada is critical for sustaining the operation of these services.”

The contribution program will provide funding for passenger services in Ontario; between Toronto and North Bay, and between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst; and between Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador as well as in Manitoba.

Transport Canada will provide $20 million to the contribution program, while Indian and Northern Affairs Canada will provide a one-time contribution of $4.4 million to establish a First Nations’ railway that would operate the Sept Îles/Labrador City to Schefferville service.
For the past eight years, Transport Canada has provided funding to remote and regional passenger rail services that are not provided by VIA Rail.

Transport Canada supports the concept of a third party operation of these rail services, and continues to explore opportunities to transfer these services to the private sector, local interests or other levels of government.

The funding will be used in support of operating, capital and start-up requirements for the four services. :P