The Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains would like to announce that the 2013 Searchmont Polar Express sold out in record time this year. Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing all participants on December 21st!
Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains Media Release
November 7th is National Railway Day
|(SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – November 6, 2013): This time last year members of the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) board were at Sault Ste. Marie city council to make a proclamation that November 7 is National Railway Day. This year, we are announcing National Railway Day by issuing a local CAPT media release to accompany a media advisory that Transport Action Ontario (TAO) has sent out to numerous Ontario media relating to National Railway Day. November 7 is a good instrument to again raise the profile of rail in our district, province and country. The TAO advisory is being sent out by Greg Gormick, a Transport Action Ontario rail expert, who will also be responding to interview requests. Please see TAO advisory below.
Also, to mark National Railway Day, the 2014 annual CAPT calendar of fabulous images of local scenes along Algoma rail lines is hot off the press and can be purchased for $10 at the Art Gallery of Algoma (10 East St., Sault Ste. Marie, ON), Shabby Motley (356 Queen St. East, Sault Ste. Marie, ON), by ordering through email@example.com or calling Linda Savory Gordon at 705 949 2301 ext 4320. Some amazing photographers have generously contributed the use of photos for the calendar. What a great way to celebrate National Railway Day since the proceeds from the calendar sales will go to CAPT’s efforts to restore and enhance passenger rail service in the Algoma District with connection to points beyond.
WHAT: National Railway Day
WHEN: November 7, 2013
WHO: Transportation policy adviser Greg Gormick on behalf of Transport Action Ontario
WHERE: Available for in-studio or telephone interviews at (416) 802-7555
In 2010, transportation policy adviser Greg Gormick succeeded in having the current federal government declare November 7 to be Canada’s National Railway Day, commemorating annually the driving of the last spike in the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) – often called “the wedding band of Confederation.”
“The completion of the transcontinental railway made Canada a united, modern and forward-looking nation back in 1885,” says Gormick. “But one is left to wonder what has happened to that national dream and the vision that inspired it. Now, our rail passenger and freight systems are once again in the news, but not in ways that should make Canadians proud.”
In recent months, Canada has experienced the tragedy of the Lac-Mégantic derailment, several other serious rail accidents, cuts to the nationwide VIA Rail Canada passenger service, a hostile takeover of the CPR by an American corporate raider and the dismantling of a 200-mile section of the CPR’s transcontinental main line in eastern Ontario. In short, our rail system – once the pride of the nation – is in turmoil.
This contrasts sharply with every other G8 nation – including the United States – all of which are investing heavily in their railways to tap the vast economic, social and environmental benefits of moving people and goods with steel wheels rolling swiftly and safely on steel rails. The time has come to ponder the consequences of Canada’s failure to do the same. Where does this leave Canada in an increasingly competitive world?
On behalf of the public transportation advocacy organization, Transport Action Ontario, Gormick will be available throughout the week of November 4, 2013, to discuss this troubling transportation situation and the service-proven solutions from around the world that can change it for the benefits of Canadians coast to coast.
|About CAPT The Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) is a regional not-for-profit organization of individuals, municipalities, First Nations, businesses and other stakeholders who recognize the significant social, economic, cultural, historical and environmental value of Northern Ontario’s passenger trains. It is dedicated to preserving and enhancing remote passenger train service in the District of Algoma as well as the adjacent districts around Hearst and Sudbury. About Transport Action Ontario Transport Action Ontario (TAO) is the regional branch of the nationwide, non-profit advocacy group, Transport Action Canada. Founded in 1976 as Transport 2000, its goal is convenient, affordable, and sustainable public transportation for all Canadians.
TAO is involved in research, consumer advocacy, and education – touching all aspects of public transport throughout Ontario. TAO defends the interests of public transport users and is in regular contact with government, regulatory bodies, transport companies, labour and other groups. Representatives regularly attend regulatory hearings and participate in public forums.
TAO recognizes that public transportation is a key factor in accessibility to housing, education, health services, employment and leisure for all Canadians. But the organization also acknowledges that certain groups are especially vulnerable to lack of passenger transport options. Accordingly, particular emphasis is placed on the needs of the poor, the disabled, seniors, youth, the unemployed, and those who live in rural and remote areas. About Greg Gormick The CTV television program, W5, described Greg Gormick as a Toronto consultant “with a client list that reads like a Who’s Who of Canadian transportation.”
Gormick is a member of the fourth generation of his family to serve Canada’s railways. He has worked as a writer, strategic analyst and policy adviser in the railway and transit fields since 1978. He has reported on, for and to these industries extensively and contributed his knowledge to numerous public transportation agencies. His industry clients have included the CPR, CN, VIA Rail Canada, the Toronto Transit Commission and several major rail and transit equipment builders, including Bombardier and General Motors Electro-Motive Division.
In the public sector, Gormick has served in several notable roles as a senior transportation policy adviser. His clients have included Toronto Mayor Art Eggleton, Toronto City Council, the Government of Ontario, the Coalition of Corridor Mayors, a coalition of five New Brunswick cities concerned about the future of their rail service and MPs Bruce Hyer (Independent – Thunder Bay-Superior North), Phil Toone (NDP – Gaspé-Îles-de-la-Madelaine) and Dean Del Mastro (Conservative – Peterborough). On Del Mastro’s behalf, Gormick created the concept plan for Toronto-Peterborough rail passenger service restoration.
In 2012-2013, Gormick served as the facilitator for Transport Action’s National Dream Renewed project, conducting a series of town hall workshops from Halifax to Thunder Bay to alert Canadians to the untapped potential in public investment in our national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada.
It is with much regret that we are saying good bye to Brittany Paat whose CreateAction (CCEDNet) internship with CAPT has ended. Prior to that 6 month internship, she also worked on CAPT projects through an NOHFC internship for a year. She has performed exemplary service. She is highly responsible, reliable, creative, personable and hardworking. We could always count on Brittany to do way more than she was assigned. Her commitment was stellar. We wish her all the best in the next stage of her career path and will miss her terribly. A huge thank you, Brittany. We also wish to thank both NOHFC and CCEDNet for their generous support through these two internship programs.
“Fedeli gets ONTC documents from Ministry of Finance”
“Train’s hiatus hits city hard”
“Leaders seek return of passenger rail”
“Derailing passenger trains to Ontario north costly blunder”:
“Rail best option for Ring of Fire, union says | North Bay Nugget”
Please take the time to read the following article released yesterday, July 17, 2013.
THE FRENCH CONNECTION/ FAIRE LE LIEN
SEPTEMBER 12-16, 2013
Are you looking for an opportunity to improve your French? Do you want the opportunity to practice your French language skills while experiencing the culture of Northern Ontario and meeting new people? Come participate in the 2013 French Connection—a four-day immersion get-away in Hearst by train.
Why go to Quebec for a French Immersion experience when you can hop on the Algoma Central train to the 95% francophone city of Hearst—296 miles north of the Sault!
This fall, participants will have the opportunity to travel up to Hearst, Ontario aboard the Algoma Central Railway. Along the way they will witness some of the country’s most beautiful natural scenery including the Agawa Canyon, some of the best Group of Seven painting sites as well as numerous lakes and rivers, private cottages and wilderness lodges, towering trestles and the vast mixed forests of the Canadian Shield ablaze with autumn splendor. Imagine this, all while improving and practicing your French!
The weekend promises to be exciting as participants will be able to join in a variety of cultural events in Hearst. Following a warm reception on Thursday night, the weekend will host include activities such as a music festival called the Festival Country de la perdric and Foire des Saveurs de Hearst. While staying with a host Francophone family, participants will be able to continue practicing their French.
The weekend emphasizes the idea of total immersion which will allow participants to have contact with the language and its culture 24/7.
Hearst is a hospitable town whose residents welcome visitors with open arms and “joie de vivre”. Sylvie Lafontaine, the General Manager of their Economic Development Corporation and a board member of the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) has been working with CAPT to organize this event. She looks forward to welcoming the French Connection participants when they get off the train on Thursday evening and is making sure that they will have a great time while in Hearst. On Sunday they will return by train to the Sault.
Those who are interested in coming aboard this trip can contact Brittany at 705-949-2301 x4734 for more information.
Tickets are available at the Sault Community Theatre Box Office 705-945-7299
Train groups band together for a louder voice
Friday, June 21, 2013 by:SooToday.com Staff
****************************** Passenger train groups form Northern and Eastern Ontario Rail Network for a louder voice
SAULT STE. MARIE – On June 18, 2013, local groups which promote passenger train service used on-line technology to meet and form a first-ever network of passenger train advocacy groups in Northern and Eastern Ontario.
Representatives from the following groups and communities participated:
- Committee Promoting Muskoka Rail Travel (CPMRT) (Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Huntsville, Georgian Bay, Township of Muskoka Lakes and Township of Lake of Bays)
- South River
- North Bay Area
- Transport Pontiac Renfrew (Mattawa to Ottawa area)
- Cochrane and Area Ratepayers Cooperative (CARC)
- Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT)
- Transport Acton Ontario (TAO)
Others invited but unable to attend included Nipissing First Nation, Serpent River First Nation, Mushkeygowuk Council, Thunder Bay, Marathon and Sudbury.
The local rail groups have each been working hard in their own corners of Northern Ontario and Eastern Ontario to stop the reckless abandonment of passenger rail service at a time when every other G8 country is investing heavily in rail.
At the meeting, they discovered that they have a common determination to have effective train service in order to support their economic development (including tourism), social and health care needs and student travel to and from post-secondary institutions.
Tourism alone is suffering terribly as tourists from Europe and Asia, as well as other parts of Canada, tend to select destinations to which they can travel by train.
The groups are delighted that they will now be working together through the new Northern and Eastern Ontario Rail Network.
They can share their research, expertise and experience and together will have a louder voice when trying to influence governments.
The network will be a part of Transport Action Ontario, a province-wide non-government organization advocating for sustainable transportation.
As part of an Ontario-wide organization headquartered in Toronto and Ottawa, the network will be heard more clearly by Queen’s Park and Ottawa.
Of immediate concern is the need to convince the Ontario government to stop the divestiture of Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) and restore passenger train service along the Ontario Northland line from Toronto to Cochrane.
There is also an urgent need to restore the passenger rail lines between Sault Ste. Marie and Ottawa, Cochrane to Hearst and Thunder Bay to Sudbury.
The Interstate Rail Defense Network- check out the thoughts and plans that are brewing in the United States surrounding rail travel http://www.samschwartz.com/Library/WhitePapers/TheInterstateRailDefenseNetwork.aspx