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 MikeCDN

I applaud your enthusiasm for passenger rail service in Northern Ontario. However, as said before, the numbers simply don't add up for VIA to increase service. Few people used the service twenty years ago in Northern Ontario. With fewer people living in the north twenty years later it doesn't make sense in thier ( Via's executives' ) eyes.

As for Northern Ontario becoming its own province, this is a whole other can of worms. Canada is still learning from what has happened to Nunavut since its creation and it, itself, is a territory - not a province. The crime rate along with substance abuse all increased. They don't have a tax base to support thier infrastructure and the feds can't give anymore. Perhaps this part of the discussion should be posted elsewhere not on a railway forum?

  by bitf
Be careful when talking politics. We don't want this to become like the Amtrak forum.
  by labaienordique
You're right, I get carried away about my area sometimes, and I'll reserve discussion about Northern politics elsewhere. It must election time or something. ;)

Passenger rail won't be profitable in Northern Ontario given the distances between communities/population. However with passenger service in more remote areas of Canada still operational (granted some of them are not by Via Rail), it's worth raising the question to the executives. I hope there is some discussion on it at the assemblé.

Bitf, if you find the link, would you be able to post it?
  by MikeCDN
I too hope there is some discussion about Northern Ontario. It seems as though the majority of areas that VIA maintained service have flourished in the past twenty years. I still maintain that Northern Ontario would not have died off in the way it did had VIA kept more services in the region.

The cuts to VIA of 1990 were the worst decision Mulroney ever made. It lacked the foresight of how the certain communities would boom in the coming years i.e Guelph, K/W, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton etc, etc. The billions of dollars spent each year on maintaining highways could easily go to a public service such as VIA that would get people out of thier cars. Try driving to or getting around any of these areas during a rush hour.

It'd be nice to be able to take a train to a park, such as Algonquin, for a canoe or hiking trip without needing a car. That was possible in the 1980s but not now. While I don't see VIA ever reconsidering expanding service to Northern Ontario, It would still be nice to be able to get up there minus a car. I lived in Northern Ontario through the 90s and think it is one Canada's crown jewels in terms of scenery, outdoor activities, and how warm and friendly people are up there. Let them have have an extra train or two.

My thoughts,

  by labaienordique
How about this scenario:

I see that there is a CN line that connects Thunder Bay to Longlac (according to Google Maps). Why not run a similar Budd Car service to connect to the Canadien. It's only about a 300 km stretch.

You have stops in Thunder Bay, Nipigon, Beardmore, Geraldton & Longlac.

The Westbound Canadien arrives in Longlac (from Toronto) at 17h49 (Wednesday, Friday & Sunday). The Eastbound Canadien arrives in Longlac (from Winnipeg) at 13h50 (Monday, Wednesday & Friday).


Wednesday & Fridays - The train would depart Thunder Bay at 8h00, arriving in Longlac at around 13h00. This would permit those in Thunder Bay the ability to catch either train. The train would leave depart Longlac at 18h30 and arrive in Thunder Bay around 23h00.

Sundays & Mondays - The train would depart & arrive in Thunder Bay at the same time(s), but would only connect to the one train that would arrive in Longlac.

This wouldn't disrupt any existing Via Rail service through Sudbury-White River nor Sudbury-Winnipeg.

labaienordique wrote:How about this scenario:

I see that there is a CN line that connects Thunder Bay to Longlac (according to Google Maps). Why not run a similar Budd Car service to connect to the Canadien. It's only about a 300 km stretch.

Line is abandoned and tracks removed.
  by jp1822
One of the biggest improvements that could be done, and that was mentioed on this board was having the Sudbury-White River RDC run into Capreol to at least link up with the "route of the Canadian." This seems to be a win/win situation and something VIA should pursue.

I am sure it was nice to have the VIA/Ontario Northlander operating jointly with sleeper in tow (VIA's direct contribution). Too much VIA Rail service in general has been lost. With the investment that VIA has been making in the RDC's, I'd be curious if a feeder route off some branch line coud be established to conect with a Corridor train, Ocean (i.e. from St. John's), or Canadian in Ontario or the long contended Calgary/Edmonton route!