This is what is wanted in the north!


The Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains and the Northern and Eastern Ontario Rail Network are pushing for this in the north, or something like it, an Eco4 passenger train.

As part of the 356-page agenda for Monday’s city council meeting, a presentation will be made concerning the rail service through the north, or lack thereof.

What the two groups are advocating for:

  • upscaling Northeastern Ontario’s transportation with a modern passenger train service on existing rail beds
  • resumption of passenger train connecting GTHA to Cochrane and Hearst & connecting bus feeders
  • continuation of Algoma Central passenger train (Mask-wa Oo-ta-ban): The Bear Train, between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst as well as Sault Ste. Marie to North Bay
  • re-establishment or expansion of VIA Rail service in Northern Ontario
  • establishment of an all-embracing public transportation plan, including ONR, VIA, ACR, CN, Metrolinx & bus providers
  • Rail connections to Ring of Fire for freight and passengers
  • Prevention of future short line abandonments in the region

Their reasons that this is highly needed:

  • For the Sault to grow to become a regional hub modern rail passenger transportation essential
  • Would bring more students to Algoma U, Sault College & College Boreal
  • Would help us become a more important regional health care hub
  • Would bring more tourists and newcomers
  • Would bring more shoppers to our stores
  • Would keep more seniors & people with disabilities from moving away
  • Would keep more young people, attract former youth back & attract new ones
  • With increasing extreme weather due to climate change, this is a way for Sault Ste. Marie to help mitigate those changes and help local economy continue in spite of the changes: part of extreme weather preparedness

What these two groups are asking for from council:

  • New resolution & letter of support to the Prime Minister, Minister of Transport Marc Garneau, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations & Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett, MPs Terry Sheehan and Carol Hughes
  • New petition to Minister Garneau for Transport Canada to fund the Bear Train to be available in Civic Centre lobby with fact sheet


  1. High speed trains are necessary from Sault to Sudbury and other Northern Ontario cities, not to mention across the prairies. If the train isn’t high speed it will not be used by enough people. In the interim a regular speed train would work but it is my understanding that the rail speed limit on the line from the Sault to Sudbury is about 40mph. Even that is too slow so the line would have to be upgraded.

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