News   Apr 15, 2021
 591     0 
News   Apr 15, 2021
 498     0 
News   Apr 15, 2021
 458     0 

Ontario Northland/Northern Ontario Transportation

k10ery

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Messages
1,578
Reaction score
43
Probably right, but still, the intercity rail alternatives in Canada and the US are abysmal. When it comes to intercity transit, you can fly (obscenely expensive) or take the bus (looong).

Porter flies to Timmins for about $400 return - isn't that about the same as the train to Cochrane? Except that Porter passengers pay a 50% tax on their airfare, and Ontario Northland passengers get a 50% subsidy. Seriously.

Rail where it works. Like between Queen and Pape stations, or whatever. But not where it is as completely financially unviable as this.
 

unimaginative2

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 23, 2007
Messages
4,554
Reaction score
6
Location
New York
Really sad. Obviously the Northlander isn't working in its present form, but I wish they could have fixed the schedule and sped it up a bit. Trips up to Muskoka bypassing the traffic on the 400/11 could be very popular if the train were faster, more convenient, and better marketed. They could subsidize some of the more unprofitable northern routes.

I'm always trying to convince people to take the Northlander but it's a hard sell given the much faster and more frequent bus service.
 

Earlscourt_Lad

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jan 2, 2008
Messages
633
Reaction score
1
Location
Earlscourt
It is a bit of a testament to the way that the Northlander was run, that a train that goes from downtown Toronto right to Muskoka couldn't make a go of it. I wonder how many people actually know (or knew) it exists?
 

Woodbridge_Heights

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
2,917
Reaction score
771
Train service is not a right of passage.
People who live in isolated communities enjoy many benefits suchas the closeness of nature, no traffic, a low cost of living, and often a stronger sense of community. There are of course tradeoffs. By choosing to live in such areas you must also accept it's downsides one of which is fewer transportation options. People who live in more remote locations cannot at the same time expect services which are equal to one's in more populated areas. Expecting transportation services similar to heavily populated areas is unreasonable. Life is about compromises, there is no such thing as "the best of both worlds".
People in isolated areas have, in part, choosen it due to it's affordability but transportation systems are expensive..........you get what you pay for. Northlands should have been cancelled decades ago.

FWIW it's not like people are demanding a subway, or international flights to Rome, London, Tokyo, New York, etc, or frequent high speed rail service. Once a day rail service isn't exactly an excessive request. They are asking for an option, any option, to connect with the rest of the province that doesn't involve driving. *side note, I wonder what auto ownership rates are like out there*

Maybe this is a market segment that MegaBus could enter???

***EDIT***
Porter flies to Timmins for about $400 return - isn't that about the same as the train to Cochrane? Except that Porter passengers pay a 50% tax on their airfare, and Ontario Northland passengers get a 50% subsidy. Seriously.

Rail where it works. Like between Queen and Pape stations, or whatever. But not where it is as completely financially unviable as this.

I just priced out a trip to Timmins and Porter was closer to $500 than $400 (and that's with a $100 promo credit) while the Northland train was $300 so there is a spread in ticket costs. Obviously though a ~2 hr flight is more attractive than a ~12 train ride, so we can say that Porter didn't exactly help Ontario Northland
 
Last edited:

Dandy Horse

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
273
Reaction score
1
Location
west of bathurst
exemplifies the expression "use it or loose it". Yes, this is a tragedy, and will effect these communities in vast ways, especially in the energy scarce future, but seriously, they deserve this. The majority of the potential ridership didn't give a hoot about the train, and never road it. If people had road the train when they went to other places, instead of driving the Ford F150 they went into debt to buy, maybe they wouldn't be in this position. have fun buying $2 gas, suckers.
having said that, this is really unfair to the people who did ride the train, and relied on it to get to places. i dont know what to say to these people... move to the GTA?
 

Jonny5

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 23, 2007
Messages
3,100
Reaction score
758
The majority of the potential ridership didn't give a hoot about the train, and never road it. If people had road the train when they went to other places, instead of driving the Ford F150 they went into debt to buy, maybe they wouldn't be in this position. have fun buying $2 gas, suckers.

It's pretty obvious the once a day train that covered such a tiny route couldn't possibly help with 99.999+% of trips in the north (less than 1 in 100,000). They have already paid $2 gas and they don't need debt to get their F150s. The people driving those trucks are working in mining (EDIT: or the other Northern Ontario cash cow, Health Care) and making $100k plus. Or they are among the tens of thousands of very well off (7 figures in the bank) reitired people who move there.

There is poverty in the north just like in Toronto, but the costs of living are substantially lower and the communities often stronger. The only difference is the support for those with addiction and mental health issues is a fraction of what is available in Toronto.


People on here seem to be almost farcically ignorant of everything north of Lake Simcoe.
 
Last edited:

TOareaFan

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
11,855
Reaction score
2,441
It is a bit of a testament to the way that the Northlander was run, that a train that goes from downtown Toronto right to Muskoka couldn't make a go of it. I wonder how many people actually know (or knew) it exists?

The people I know who vacation/summer/cottage up there are very well aware of the train service. Well enough aware of the frequency/speed/cost that when I used it 3years in row to join my family part way through a cottage rental they thought I was nuts. I did it because I have romantic notions about train travel but even i had to admit it was less convenient, slower and more expensive than driving.......with those three strikes (and the fact you sorta need a car when you get to muskoka) are why I don't think this service has/had a chance!
 

RC8

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
1,526
Reaction score
0
Location
Toronto
Very sad. I never took it (lack of funds + enough time off) but always wanted to.

Hopefully VIA or someone gets a train up there.
 

Dandy Horse

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
273
Reaction score
1
Location
west of bathurst
I think if the most powerful people, instead of the most vulnerable (and thus, not car owning) people had been using this service for the last twenty or thirty years, this would be in a much different situation today (service would be expanding).
Jonny5 - if you think the majority of people who drive F150s make over 100K you are totally kidding yourself. people buy those because they're unhappy with their anatomy, end of story. the proof for this is that you hardly ever see anyone even carrying anything in the back, and the typical driver of these has a fat neck and gas station sunglasses.
 

MegaMax

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 20, 2008
Messages
60
Reaction score
1
Jonny5 - if you think the majority of people who drive F150s make over 100K you are totally kidding yourself. people buy those because they're unhappy with their anatomy, end of story. the proof for this is that you hardly ever see anyone even carrying anything in the back, and the typical driver of these has a fat neck and gas station sunglasses.

That's a little harsh, isn't it?

I see your user name is "Dandy Horse." Hmm. The above sure sounds like the words of a stereotypical smug holier-than-thou downtower cyclist.
 

JoeParez

Transit Enthusiast
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 22, 2010
Messages
301
Reaction score
40
Location
Near a No Frills
That's a little harsh, isn't it?

I see your user name is "Dandy Horse." Hmm. The above sure sounds like the words of a stereotypical smug holier-than-thou downtower cyclist.

It is, but he kind of has a point. There are many-a-people who don't actually use the F150 for their actual worth -- they are the same people who have a pair of molded testicles hanging from the trailer hitch for some apparent reason.
 

Coruscanti Cognoscente

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
7,756
Reaction score
252
Location
Imperial City
It is, but he kind of has a point. There are many-a-people who don't actually use the F150 for their actual worth -- they are the same people who have a pair of molded testicles hanging from the trailer hitch for some apparent reason.

I guess the same reason women (or any suburbanite really, but women in particular) love to drive SUVs.
 

Tuscani01

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 22, 2007
Messages
5,373
Reaction score
1,757
Im actually happy with this announcement mainly because I get a direct benefit. Ontario Northland's trains are extremely loud and are the only trains that make my building shake as they pass by. I will miss seeing them though. As someone else pointed out, their new livery is quite nice, and it makes train spotting a bit more fun.
 

Top