Do you have train stories to tell?
Name / Nom: Rhona
Comments / Commentaires: We used to take the train to go to Sick children’s hospital twice a year and our kids used the train to go to university and college. Now, as adults, they all live in Southern Ontario and having the Ontario Northlander Train running again, would be Wonderful!! The drive down south to Toronto and London in the winter can be brutal with snow storms and winter conditions and poor roads conditions and snowplow not plowing the highways properly. Having the option of taking the TRAIN would be fantastic. Also, being a one car family is tricky so having the train would be very helpful!
Name / Nom: David Brydges
Comments / Commentaires: I took my first train trip when i was eleven from Cobalt to Toronto on the Northlander. It was a magical journey through the heart of the Cambrian Shield wilderness that inspired a life long love of train travel. Over the years i took hundreds of trips either from the north or coming from the south.
When the Northlander was cancelled in 2012 my heart was broken and still feels fractured. Forced to take the bus it is not the same scenic or reflective trip. I am a tall person and find some buses have little leg room. The last bus I took, the handle had broken on the back seat adjustment. That problem is solved with the trains wider seats, the ability to get up and stretch your legs, do some socializing, or have a snack.
Name / Nom: Shawn Poirier
Comments / Commentaires: No train means more vehicles on the roads. I see a lot of accidents and deaths. I also often cross the ONTC bus on Quebec side running late. Feel sad for the passengers that are stuck in there seats for a longer ride. We need the passenger mixed with safe freight to remove vehicles and truck loads off HWY 11. This HWY is a commercial route to get from one side of Canada to the other. I would like to see the train go by my house again. Transportation is part of our life. And needs to be invested in not shut down.
Name / Nom: Jim McCuaig
Comments / Commentaires: This past month alone, I have travelled to Toronto for medical consultations, scanning, with another consultation coming up on February 12th. …. With those results, a plan of action needs to be determined with even more travels to Toronto. With our snowy roads, due to weather conditions, it recently took exactly 5 hours to reach the hospital counter from my doorstep here in Bracebridge.
Now I drive to Barrie to catch the GO Train there. At least I don’t need to park in T.O. Costs? No comparison. Bus $88.00, Car/Train $20/$15 for a total of $35.00 for travel from Bracebridge to Toronto return. We need better, more reliable transport, such as a full rail service, like the GTA has from Oshawa through to Hamilton, and north to Barrie.
Name / Nom: André Simard
Comments / Commentaires: I’m a senior citizen worked for the ONR for 37 years. We negotiated a raise as part of getting free passes. Now they took that away from us. The South gets everything and the North is left out in the pasture. It’s not right.
About the Northlander, I don’t think they should’ve ever cancelled it. I heard a man in a wheelchair leaves Cochrane and goes to Toronto by bus. That trip must be gruesome alone. Another man used to visit in North Bay from Englehart by train. He hates the bus trips and so do I.
Comments / Commentaires: Used to take the train regularly to visit relatives in Hamilton. Arriving in Toronto, went to the lower floor, walked across the street and got a bus that took me to my final destination. That go bus was convenient, but one hour on it was sufficient. Like many people who have had a knee replacement, sitting for long periods of time is not good, and the train always afforded the opportunity to get up and walk a bit. There is no comparison between bus and train travel. We northern Senior's deserve better.........
Name / Nom: Lee Bryan
Comments / Commentaires: As a non driver who moved to Port Carling from Toronto in 2005, I unhappily endured the uncomfortable 3+ hr bus ride back home for visits for several years. I restricted my frequency of trips solely because I detested the bus ride.
In 2009, someone finally mentioned that there was rail travel available from Bracebridge, & I was thrilled to try that option.
After my first trip to Toronto, I was ECSTATIC, & raved about the service to everyone I know! The entire trip was exactly 2 hours, which is the same or better than driving in a car! Even with occasionally delays on the tracks, not one single trip ever took longer than 2.5 hrs. Additionally, the leg room, ease of movement around & between cars...all phenomenal. To top it off, the conductors & other staff were ALL friendly & helpful, in stark contrast to the mostly miserable, nasty bus drivers.
From 2010 onward, my trips to Toronto became much more frequent, at least 8/yr, solely because it was so painless on the train. On the bus, I refused to go more than 3x/yr, & guess what? That's what I'm back to now. :-( The bus is horrible, & compared to the previous rail travel, completely unacceptable.
The biggest problem I experienced with the train service is that it took four years to hear about it!
Name / Nom: Marilee Koenderink
Comments / Commentaires: My story may not be unique as I frequently used Via Rail. I used it to go back and forth to London Ontario to school to get my B.ScN at Western. I used it afterward to go back and forward to Toronto to get my M.Ed. I travelled after that for work related meetings..until I could not as it was not available. Then I used a personal vehicle and contributed to global warming. Our adult children cannot come home by train - they use personal vehicles or fly and we pick them up from Toronto or Sudbury or North Bay. They have travelled in the last few years from Sault Ste Marie, Sudbury and Thunder Bay - we sure could have used the train. Please consider the benefits of public transit and draft a sound business plan to see if "Via" can come back to our area.
Name / Nom: Tony Turrittin
Comments / Commentaires: We’ve always wanted to take the Polar Bear Express to Moosonee as a holiday. Our plan was to take the Northlander to Cochrane, stay overnight and continue by train to James Bay. It was on our backpack list of destinations to experience. As seniors taking long drives is difficult for us. So when the Northlander was cancelled that’s pulled the shade down on this trip to northern Ontario for us.