northland train

A new train from North Bay to Toronto is now testing for operation

A new train route set to travel from North Bay to Toronto has started testing for operation as of Monday morning. 

The Ontario Northland Train set off just before 6 a.m. on November 22, carrying passengers while heading to its destination at Union Station. 

In May, Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney announced the new route connecting the North to Toronto, as part of the Northeastern Passenger Rail Service in partnership with Metrolinx. 

The new route, which is meant to make travel more accessible for people living in the North, took approximately six hours on Monday. 

On the way to Toronto, it made stops in South River, Hunstville, Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Washago, Gormley, and Langstaff, a spokesperson for Northland tells blogTO. 

The train ended up arriving at Union Station just before 2 p.m.. 

The testing excercise is meant to validate transit times and evaluate track conditions, says Corina Moore, President and CEO of Ontario Northland. 

"Today's test train is a promising sign for Northern Ontario. Once Passenger Rail service is back, it will connect people to the region, unlock economic opportunities, and much more," said Moore. 

In 2012, a previous version of this route was shut down, leaving few options for people living in the North to have accessible travel to other parts of the province. 

It also didn't help when  Greyhound Canada cancelled all routes earlier this year, with some rural communities left stranded with no other way than a car to get into Toronto and Southern Ontario. 

The new route from North Bay to Toronto is proposed to run between four to seven days a week based on seasonal travel demands, the province says.  

It would also allow passengers coming from the North to travel overnight to reduce the need for staying in a hotel, something not everyone has the ability to pay for. 

After having a short break in Toronto, the test train will be headed back to North Bay on Monday afternoon.

Phasing for the new route is set to be completed sometime in 2022, after successful completion of testing. 

Lead photo by

Ontario Northland

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