Ontario just ordered a fleet of new passenger trains to connect Toronto to the North
The Ontario government just announced that it's purchasing three new trainsets as part of its plan to bring back the northeastern passenger rail service between Toronto and northern communities.
The $139.5 million investment will reinstate service between Timmins and Toronto, several years after the Ontario Northland Transportation's Northlander Passenger Train discontinued service in 2012.
"The reinstatement of passenger rail service will ensure access to essential services like health care and education, while supporting economic prosperity and tourism in the region," Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney said.
The trains will include built-in wheelchair lifts, mobility aid storage spaces, galley style food services, and fully accessible washrooms.
The passenger rail service's route will serve 16 stops including: Toronto (Union Station), Langstaff, Gormley, Washago, Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Huntsville, South River, North Bay, Temagami, Temiskaming Shores, Englehart, Kirkland Lake (Swastika), Matheson, Timmins and Cochrane.
The much-anticipated rail cars are set to be built by Siemens Mobility Limited, and will meet the latest EPA emission standards, making them "one of the most environmentally friendly diesel locomotives on the market."
The trains will also feature spacious seating, WiFi connectivity, as well as audio and visual announcements.
The Ontario Northland currently operates four buses daily between Toronto and North Bay.
Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Graydon Smith said that the "Northlander train will directly benefit communities in Parry Sound-Muskoka with four convenient stops, allowing people more options to get home, to work, to medical appointments and to experience the beauty of the North."
By 2041, the Ontario government expects annual ridership to be between 40,000 to 60,000.
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