As the Federal and Ontario governments increase their concerns for attacking climate change and improving the economy, the Northern & Eastern Ontario Rail Network (NEORN) is pleased to announce that support for its passenger train network is growing.
This is not surprising since increasing passenger train travel is one of the fastest ways to reduce carbon emissions and improve economic prospects in Northern Ontario. According to Transport Action Ontario (TAO), the Green House Gas (GHG) intensity of passenger rail is 3 to 4 times lower than the intensity from single-occupant personal vehicle use. Since transportation is one of the biggest sectors responsible for GHG, providing passenger trains to allow more people to get off roads and highways is imperative for Canada and Ontario to reach their environment targets. Road travel is the worst form of travel for the environment.
Safety is another big consideration. With climate change, it is becoming increasingly dangerous to travel on highways.
Having inter-community passenger rail in Northern Ontario is also essential for our economic sustainability. Without passenger trains our communities will become ghost towns. Resource-based industries are declining greatly; and, to diversify our economies through tourism, we need trains to bring tourists here. Another economic diversification strategy is through education. Post-secondary institutions are recruiting in Southern Ontario, but how do we expect prospective students to come with no rail
connection to travel to and from their families and friends in Southern Ontario?
As our health care is becoming increasingly regionalized, many Northerners must travel long distances to Sudbury to access regional health care facilities. Trains are the most accessible form of transportation for people with health and/or mobility issues or other special needs.
In response to increasing interest in restoring passenger train service throughout Northeastern Ontario, NEORN has made exciting improvements and additions to its website. We encourage everyone to check them out at www.neorn.ca.
NEORN is a grass roots organization advocating for the retention of existing rail corridors and the reinstatement of passenger train and corresponding shuttle services throughout the Districts of Algoma, Cochrane, Greater Sudbury, Kenora, Manitoulin, Muskoka, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Rainy River, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Timiskaming.
Northern Ontario has a network of approximately 6 000 kilometres of rail interlinking a significant portion of municipalities and First Nations throughout the region. There are a number of economic, environmental, practical, social and health factors that contribute to the importance of frequent and reliable passenger train service for communities, businesses and visitors looking to explore and travel great distances throughout
the Cambrian Shield.
NEORN is actively attempting to demonstrate to the provincial and federal governments of the need for publicly supported investments in this endeavour, as is the case in every other jurisdiction in Canada.
We are requesting that each municipality demonstrate support for the immediate revival of passenger trains throughout the region.