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Is the return of the Northlander passenger train a reality?

'The government of the day will take that information and provide a mandate to us to implement that but certainly, that is what we know how to do and we have to do it very well from Moosonee to Cochrane and it is something that we would have no problem doing'
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ONR CEO Corina Moore speaks about the future of transportation at a Canadian Club luncheon at the Best Western. Photo by Chris Dawson.

Corina Moore hopes as Ontario Northland continues to build momentum that one day soon the north will see the return of passenger rail service to the north.   

“I believe as a transportation agency in Northern Ontario we have to look at passenger rail for the simple fact that we are looking at ways to increase tourism, we are looking at ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” stated Moore. 

The Ontario Northland CEO was speaking at the Canadian Club luncheon at the Best Western Wednesday as she went through a detailed and well put together power point presentation explaining what the ONR is all about and what direction the crown corporation is going.   

See related story: 2017 was a good one at Ontario Northland

The Northlander passenger train was shut down by the Liberal government back in 2012.   

Moore believes finding more ways to connect to the south is key for the north.  

“There is a huge population density issue of getting people in and out of the GTA and so what our role is as an agency is to provide them with the information for the government to make a decision and we will do that,” she said. 

The NDP, NOP and PC’s have started talking about the Northlander again with a spring election on the horizon.   

“The government of the day will take that information and provide a mandate to us to implement that but certainly that is what we know how to do and we have to do it very well from Moosonee to Cochrane and it is something that we would have no problem doing.  It is just a case of the mandate to have that. “ 

Moore says that passenger rail service is evolving and any return of service would likely be very different than before.   

“Would it look the same as the last days of the Northlander,” Moore questioned, “It probably would not It would be a different look, it would probably have a different schedule. 

“We would certainly reach out to all the communities and all the potential passengers to say ‘what does this train mean to you,’ and what would be the best way of providing it.” 




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