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Northern Passenger Rail update included in ONTC presentation to FONOM

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Work continues behind the scenes towards reinstating northern passenger rail service.  

Corina Moore, Ontario Northland President and CEO, provided a wide-ranging update on the ONTC to the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) Annual General Meeting this week.  

She says reinstating northern passenger rail has been a personal goal of hers for a long time. 

“I believe it is integral to how we provide transportation services in the north.  It creates this integrated service between rail and bus and allows us to do more with what our services provide,” Moore says. 

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The next step involves a couple of other partners. 

“We’re going to be working with Metrolinx and the [Ministry of Transportation] to update the initial business case and provide basically an implementation plan of what the service would look like, what the infrastructure needs are specifically, what the passenger cars would look like.  We already have a good understanding of what we think the service needs to look like in terms of schedule,” she says. 

She also says they’ll be reaching out to communities that are impacted by the service to collaborate and provide input on what that looks like, and what they believe is the right service. 

Another focus is pushing for federal funding support for transportation in the north, especially with the exit of Greyhound and other carriers.  

Moore says their Motor Coach Services continue to expand and their mandate is to look for areas of growth.  

There was also great news with the Remanufacturing and Repair shop in North Bay.

“Last year we did more business than we ever have in the history of this division,” she says. 

They have a strong partnership with CN for locomotive work while in the car shop they have a strategic alliance with Metrolinx. 

Revenues are steady with Rail Freight Services, with Moore pointing out the nearly 40,000 car loads equates to 100,000 fewer trucks on the road last year.  

One area Moore requested support from FONOM was with helping create awareness for their bus services and bus parcel express, which she calls the best kept secret from Ontario Northland.

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