A special interest group focused on restoring passenger rail service to the north is sharing its progress and its next steps.

All Aboard Northern Ontario says it has taken an approach to its NortheastLynx project that can best be described as “adopt, adapt and optimize.”

The NortheastLynx draft report will be completed soon and, after peer review by industry experts, it will proceed to graphic design.

Among the major points All Aboard Northern Ontario has developed:

  • A phased implementation plan to deliver an interim Cochrane-Temiskaming-North Bay-Toronto rail service by 2019 with coordinated improvements to ONTC and provincially-owned GO Transit feeder bus services
  • A second phase that will improve the interim Cochrane-Toronto service in 2020
  • A third phase that will add a second North Bay-Toronto rail frequency in 2021

AANO has used SouthwestLynx as a guide for its own report as it is part of a four-component plan for the improvement of rail and public transportation throughout Southwestern Ontario, much of which is adaptable to the needs and the realities of transportation in Northern Ontario.

AANO says, “NortheastLynx is not merely a proposal for rail passenger service restoration, but a plan for integrated, multi-modal transportation that optimizes the resources and services of the ONTC and local transit operations.

Everything in the plan rests on techniques and technologies that have been proven elsewhere and may be readily adapted for implementation here. It also aims to optimize the use of the existing resources of the ONTC and its partners in the delivery of this service.”

All Aboard Northern Ontario says the group has made tremendous progress over the summer and are now aiming for a public launch of the proposal in late October, immediately following the municipal elections.

Member Greg Gormick reports “we have received tremendous support and input from numerous members of the rail industry, retired and active, and the new provincial government. These have included Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli, members of Minister of Transportation John Yakabuski’s staff, ONTC staff, MP Charlie Angus, MPP John Vanthof and retired Amtrak president David Gunn.”