Rail Summit April 19th in Sault Ste. Marie announces guest speakers


The Northeastern Ontario Passenger Rail Summit will take place on April 19th in Sault Ste. Marie, at Quattro Hotel.

It is open to all interested participants, and cost is $15 per person to cover lunch.

Keynote guest speakers will be Bruce Budd, President of Transport Action Canada, Ken Bitten, a 40-year career railroader and entrepreneur, and Sylvan Gervais, Bombardier’s Director of Operations and Maintenance for Canada.

Our special guest speaker will be Corina Moore, President and CEO Ontario Northland Transportation Corporation.

BRUCE BUDD, President of Transport Action Canada – Our nation’s leading citizen transportation advocacy group. From TAC website “Canada is the only G7 nation that has not seen significant capital funding in intercity passenger rail in a generation”.

KEN BITTEN – His career in railroad management of almost 40 years includes class one, short line and vast passenger experience. He has made a career of the procurement, movement, upgrading, operation, maintenance and disposition of railroad passenger cars. His acquisition and management of two separate fleets of more than two hundred passenger cars each confirm that his logistics and mechanical background are extensive.

Ken also is adept at project management including development, costing, component acquisition, rebuild procedures, training and performance monitoring. Ken has been the general manager of seven railroads, two of which he founded. He also has a strong background in operations, maintenance of way, marketing and finance, and has significant background in railroad insurance.

SYLVAIN GERVAIS, Bombardier’s Director of Operations and Maintenance for Canada – With a bachelor degree in Operational Research, Sylvain began his career in the railroad industry as a supervisor with Via Rail Canada.

“Bombardier Transportation moves 500 million persons every day in 70 countries. We are a global leader in rail technology. As an innovation driver, Bombardier Transportation continuously breaks new ground in sustainable mobility and we would be pleased to be part of the solution for the mobility of the Northern of Ontario citizens,” said Gervais.

CORINA MOORE, President and CEO of Ontario Northland – Her topics include the story of Ontario Northland’s recent transformation into an efficient and valued leader in transportation and how the company provides vital transportation solutions to northern Ontario, including passenger rail and freight service between Cochrane and Moosonee, freight services across Northeastern Ontario, and a recently expanded bus network.

Throughout the day, attendees will hear from another 17 individuals well qualified to speak on the Social and Economic Impacts of Transportation in Northeastern Ontario.

While Northern Ontario faces the challenges created by our current economic times, NEORN is promoting a sustainable approach to supporting economic opportunity in the north.

Innovative, integrative and accessible passenger rail service offers solutions to many of the challenges that are affecting the north’s economic diversity, development and accessibility.

It is vital to the sustainability of our northern regions of Ontario that passenger rail services be supported, refurbished and reinstated otherwise we will become increasingly isolated economically and socially – something our northern regions and Ontario cannot afford.


Visit NEORN for more information.       NEORN



  1. If you have not had the pleasure of hearing Bruce Budd. Make it a point to attend as he can cut the chase to advise the logical operational course .
    NOW until we evenly represent ALL of Ontario’s transportation needs.And not just highways.
    GO has to be the rail transporter for all of Ontario.This might ruffle some feathers yet GO should be the ONR’s ,AC lines ,and north of Superior operator.Also keep in mind the Orangeville Brampton Railway as a relief valve for the GTHA expansion of rail transportation corridors.
    We outside the GTHA are subsidizing them as far as rail passenger service is concerned.Price a Barrie to Union Station GO ticket and a Union to London VIA ticket. This past weekend (April 15th 2018) my son traveled from BC to London ON.Due to the ice storm and no air flights from Toronto to London.He had to go eastbound from Pearson to Union.Then GO to the end of the line westbound with my grandson driving the 401 in the ice storm to pick him up.
    Another factor.As I live in St Thomas ON and have a friend who has a VIA / CNR pass .He is a retired RTC / Dispatcher.Instead of travelling from London to Toronto at no cost to himself. He drives an hour to Woodstock on the 401 in order to park his vehicle at the Woodstock VIA station as there is no VIA parking at London.
    In the planning include GO style parking and not just 18 parking spots with video surveillance similar to the BC Skytrain operation that is concise for the residence when having criminal harassment problems ;they go to the Skytrain stations that the security personal will advice the police and assist them.
    Having Bombardier at you function.Since Metrolink can order 150 bilevel Bombardier coaches for the GTHA. Also include a side order for BASIC RAIL PASSENGER SERVICE OUTSIDE THE GTHA. With dual head end power electrical circuits of 550 three phase GO power and standard 480 volt three phase VIA /etc. power in order to operate the lighting,heat,and air conditioners.
    If you decide that you are to order self powered passenger coaches similar to the UPX equipment.Please make them operational with the Bomberdier bilevel equipment.
    I can be contacted through Transport Action as I do not use facebook etc.

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