Rally for Rail Testimonial

CBC Radio's Morning North program, hosted by Markus Schwabe, took time to speak to Lucille Frith, spokesperson for the North Eastern Ontario Rail Network (NEORN) about the upcoming Rally for Rail town hall meetings in the region.  The Rally for Rail town halls are advocating for the return of passenger rail service in Northeastern Ontario, leading up to the upcoming June election.

You can listen to the interview here:  http://www.cbc.ca/listen/shows/morning-north/segment/15546115

Upon hearing the Morning North program Wednesday morning one listener, Marianne, emailed Lucille with her own testimonial for the return of passenger rail.  Here's what Marianne had to say:

Hi
 
I caught your interview this morning on CBC with Markus and I think it was ironic that I heard it during my commute from Sudbury to North Bay, a drive I’ve been doing for 6 years!  I’ve often fantasized about how wonderful it would be to merely drive to a station within my area, hop on a bud car, and be deposited in downtown North Bay so I could walk to work, then do it all in reverse at the end of the day.  Sure beats driving all the time, in good weather and bad.
 
I like the way your group is advocating for an increase in service.  It would serve more people than I think many realize.  It may be a case of “if you build it, they will come” but I’m sure they would come.  There are students who travel to universities and colleges in Sudbury and North Bay along this corridor; there are people making the trip by car for specialized doctor appointments, and there would be many more who do it to shop, enjoy the tourism offered by each area… the list goes on and on.  Also consider how we know from the last census that the north has a growing population of elderly who are becoming increasingly less comfortable with any highway drive.
 
Just last week, I was stopped on the highway around Warren for 50 minutes because of an accident.   And any Northerner knows the perils of winter driving.  I would gladly take a train just to avoid delays due to accidents and bad road conditions.  It would have to be affordable, though.  Based on my gas consumption, I would pay $100 a work week ($20 a day) for a roundtrip into North Bay in the morning (arriving before 9:00) and into Sudbury in the evening (leaving NB just after 5:00).  I think this would be welcomed by others, since I certainly recognize some of the same vehicles in my daily trip.  A few strategic stops along the way would certainly benefit others who commute along this corridor, for shorter distances.
 
Another thing I have noticed as well since working in North Bay is that there is really no better option than driving if you’re trying to get to Sault Ste Marie from North Bay.  That’s a 5 hour trip that I’m sure would be more pleasant on the train. 
 
And let’s not forget about the environment!

 

PASSENGER RAIL SUMMIT VERY SUCCESSFUL, LATEST MEDIA COVERAGE

Passenger Rail Summit Very Successful 

Enthusiastic crowd!

NEORN is delighted to report that the first NEORN Passenger Rail Summit was a huge success. It was well attended with over 120 people, 24 speakers and was covered by all of the local media (see their coverage in the links listed below).  Presentations were made by Chief Paul Syrette-Garden River FN & Chief Jason Gauthier – Missanabie Cree FN.  Present were mayors (Mayor Roger Sigouin – Hearst, Mayor Sue Jensen – Blind River, Mayor Lynn Watson –Macdonald, Meredith & Aberdeen Additional Township (Echo Bay) and Mayor Christian Provenzano – Sault Ste. Marie). Also in attendance were government officials from Ministry of Northern Development & Mines and senior leaders of UNIFOR.

 

A few of the
Speakers for the Rail Passenger Summit!

Mayor Provenzano posted this comment on Face Book later in the day:
“I want to thank the Northern and Eastern Ontario Rail Network - NEORN for organizing a Passenger Rail Summit held today in Sault Ste. Marie. It was a well attended event, and I was grateful for the opportunity to speak. Transportation is fundamental to the health and sustainability of Northern Ontario. Transit options such as passenger rail service provide access to towns and cities located throughout the region, contributing to an improved quality of life for citizens and facilitating the movement of visitors to our region. 
A transit system connecting Northern Ontario needs to be in place, and NEORN’s proposed North Eastern Ontario Rail Loop could address this situation by providing access to communities, First Nations, businesses and the people of Northeastern Ontario to the rest of Canada.
Government subsidized passenger rail service is provided by governments across the world and right here in Canada, and it needs to be provided once again to our area.
As Mayor, I remain committed to providing assistance to 
NEORN, Coalition for Algoma Passenger TrainsCommittee Promoting Muskoka Rail Travel - CPMRT and 
Mask Wa Oo Ta Ban - Bear Train to advocate for passenger rail service in Northern Ontario.” 

The following politicians attended. (Their answers to NEORN’s questions will be posted on the websites):
  • Michael Mantha   MPP Algoma –Manitoulin (NDP)
  • John Vanthof MPP Timiskaming-Cochrane (NDP)
  • Ross Romano MPP Sault Ste. Marie (PC)
  • Kara Flannigan, Green Party Candidate in the upcoming provincial election.
Written submissions were also provided by:
  • Carol Hughes
  • MP(NDP), Charlie Angus, MP(NDP)
  • a video clip by Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner 
A video of much of the summit will soon be posted on the NEORN, CAPT and CPMRT websites.  
A huge expression of gratitude goes out to all of the volunteers, sponsors and contributors.  They will be listed very soon on our websites.
 
Building on the momentum at the summit, prior to the provincial election, we will be holding meetings in many of the communities along the NEORN loop.  The dates will be announced soon. Please stay posted.

 

NEORN, CAPT and CPMRT are non-partisan. We want all politicians and political parties to support the NE Ontario Passenger Rail Loop because of the socio-economic and employment values it will support.

 

If anyone knows of a political event in the rail loop please let us know and we will pass the word. That way our followers might choose to attend those events to present our urgent need for restored passenger train service.

 

One that we just heard about is the Rally organized by Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford and MPP Ross Romano on Tuesday, April 24th in Sault Ste. Marie.
Doors open at 5:00 pm, rally starts at 5:30 pm. Free admission. Tuesday, April 24, 5:00 pm-6:30 pm
Location: The Water Tower Inn,  360 Great Northern Road, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, P6B 4Z7
Please click here to Register 

Latest Media Coverage

 

Saultonline.com NEORN 2018 Rail Summit: ‘This is what the North deserves’ By Riley Smith - April 20, 2018
https://saultonline.com/2018/04/neorn-2018-rail-summit-this-is-what-the-north-deserves/

 

NEORN: Move People, not just freight, by Rail By Elaine Della-Mattia, Sault Star Thursday, April 19, 2018
http://www.saultstar.com/2018/04/19/neorn-move-people-not-just-freight-by-rail

 

Sault Ste. Marie hosts advocates of passenger rail service in the north meeting. By Jairus Patterson - CTV Northern Ontario April 19, 2018
https://northernontario.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1375408

 

Train passenger summit in Sault Ste. Marie aims to get service back up and running Apr 19, 2018 CBC Radio Up North
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/programs/upnorth/train-passenger-summit-in-sault-ste-marie-aims-to-get-service-back-up-and-running-1.4627316

 

'We're going to keep going,' says passenger rail advocate: First-ever Northeastern Passenger Rail Summit explores potential of reinstating passenger rail service by:  James Hopkin Sootoday.com April 19, 2018
https://www.sootoday.com/local-news/were-going-to-keep-going-says-passenger-rail-advocate-899396

 

Full steam ahead: Group wants to re-establish passenger rail service in northern Ontario    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/passenger-rail-neorn-summit-1.4627167

LATEST MEDIA COVERAGE

Latest Media Coverage

“The NorthEastern Ontario Passenger Rail Summit in Sault Ste. Marie Announces Guest Speakers” in Wawa-news.com
https://wawa-news.com/index.php/2018/04/13/the-northeastern-ontario-passenger-rail-summit-in-sault-ste-marie-announces-guest-speakers/
“Rail Summit April 19th in Sault Ste. Marie announces guest speakers” By Riley Smith  Saultonline.com April 13, 2018
https://saultonline.com/2018/04/rail-summit-april-19th-in-sault-ste-marie-announces-guest-speakers/
CBC Radio Doc Project “Saving the train to Churchill”
https://podcast-a.akamaihd.net/mp3/podcasts/thedocproject-g9LIEP63-20180409.mp3
_________________________________________

FYI: Please distribute through your networks.

 

Northeastern Ontario Passenger Rail Summit:

Thursday, April 19, 9:30 am to 4:00 pm

SAVE THE DATE 

 The Northeastern Ontario Rail Network (NEORN), Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) and the Committee Promoting Muskoka Rail Travel (CPMRT) invite you to participate in a Passenger Rail Summit for Northeastern Ontario in Sault Ste. Marie. The purpose of the summit is to provide an opportunity for representatives from First Nations, municipalities, post-secondary institutions, health care organizations, organizations for people with disabilities, businesses, tourism organizations, environmental organizations, rail advocates, provincial and federal officials and politicians to plan how to have modern passenger rail service provided on existing rail beds in Northeastern Ontario. The summit will address the WHY and HOW of getting passenger service back on the tracks in our region.
Date: Thursday, April 19
Time: 9:30 am to 4:00 pm
Location:  Sault Ste. Marie (meeting place to be sent to you very soon)

Guest speakers and agenda details will be sent to you shortly.  In the meantime, please SAVE THE DATE as we very much hope you will be attending.
Yours truly,

Lucille Frith
lakeofbays.lucille@gmail.com
705-789-8903
NEORN/CPMRT

Linda Savory Gordon
linda.savory-gordon@algomau.ca
705-949-2301 ext. 4320
NEORN/CAPT
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