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Thread: Ontario Northland rail service to resume by 2025

  1. #1
    metalangel Guest

    Default Ontario Northland rail service to resume by 2025

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbu...2025-1.6039373

    Rail service from Toronto to Cochrane was withdrawn in 2012 in favour of buses, but is now looking set to resume by 2025 with a revitalised service.

    This is proper, rugged rail travel through the Canadian Shield all the way north through Ontario. From Cochrane, another service known as the Polar Bear Express takes you north to Moosonee and James Bay.



    Interesting, for a period in the 1970s and 80s, the Northlander train from Toronto was operating using former TransEuropean Express trains. These were not entirely successful, and the power car was removed and replaced with a more standard EMD FP7.



    Here's how the service was in 2009, you can see why a train would be preferable to a bus for the distances involved:

    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    That's great news. I was on one of the last Northlander trips with my son.

    Thanks

    Sean

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalangel View Post
    Rail service from Toronto to Cochrane was withdrawn in 2012 in favour of buses, but is now looking set to resume by 2025 with a revitalised service.

    This is proper, rugged rail travel through the Canadian Shield all the way north through Ontario. From Cochrane, another service known as the Polar Bear Express takes you north to Moosonee and James Bay.
    What does that say on the stop-sign shape on the front of the loco? Is it "something something NOT for sale"?
    IBM XT i386; 512Kb RAM; 5.25" FDD; 1.4Mb FDD; 5Mb HDD; VGA 256-colour graphics card; AdLib soundcard; DR DOS 6.0; Windows 3.0

  4. #4
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    "Ontario Northland Not For Sale". These were on all their trains towards the end as this was part of government cuts when news of discontinuing the Northlander began. I forget how long it's been gone now (my son was younger and I slept through most of the trip). I've been spoiled by dome cars on The Canadian and riding in a coach car is not the same. Still some good views if you can wake up in time. Polar Bear Express has a few more scenic views but mostly Tundra.

    Thanks

    Sean

  5. #5
    metalangel Guest

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    The last Northlander from Toronto was September 28, 2012.

    People online are complaining about how long it's going to take to restore service, not realizing that all the stations have either been sitting idle or have been sold/repurposed over the intervening years. There's also the small matter of getting the rolling stock together, and coming up with a new business plan for a better integrated service: the train was withdrawn ostensibly due to high costs and low ridership, so they need a good plan this time around, they are very fortunate to be getting a second chance!

  6. #6
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    There was a rumor of GO transit before this happened having a service on the Bala & Newmarket. Not sure where this came from but it's interesting.

    They certainly need to make this cost effective. Saying it's a utility and needs tax payer money is not that convincing now even to a fan of the train.

    Thanks

    Sean

  7. #7
    metalangel Guest

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    GO ran the CasinoRama special for a year up towards Washago, maybe they could do something with that? The spur south from Washago that passed directly behind the Casino (and then went toward Orillia) has predictably been lifted and turned into a trail.

    They don't have any other way of getting to Orillia now through Barrie. I remember we had a cottage past Elmvale, and picking my dad up from the Barrie station that operated from 1990-1993, but that was again all closed and lifted. I recall it being much further north and closer to downtown.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurvivorSean View Post
    "Ontario Northland Not For Sale". These were on all their trains towards the end .....
    Thank you.
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  9. #9
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    Your welcome Seagoon.

    Yeah I remember the 1st time I took the Canadian was the last trip I took between Barrie & Washago on the Newmarket. Used to have a semaphore signal still standing outside of Barrie. I believe that was perhaps 30 years ago now (can't remember how old I was, but I was still living at home). Perhaps 25 years ago. Taken the Canadian many times since then (lost count seems to happen every 5 years or so).

    The Bala goes pretty close to Orillia where The Canadian runs on the east side of Lake Simcoe and Couchaching. Of course the cottage I was at in my youth was at Sparrow Lake a little north west of Washago. Still love to visit the area when I can but the cottages we rented at Forest Glen - at a small town of Hamlet need Sparrow Lake siding was bought out into some kind of development on the property.

    Thanks

    Sean

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