Northerners are still going strong in their fight to save the Northlander passenger rail service.
The Northeastern Ontario Municipal Association (NOEMA) is asking the provincial government to conduct a series of studies before privatizing the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC).
At a recent meeting, NOEMA approved a resolution asking for studies to be conducted before pieces of the ONTC are divested, including ON Telcom. NOEMA is also calling for immediate improvements to rail service.
Recommendations from NOEMA include an immediate change-over to a night train, both ways, for the Northlander, and for ONTC management and unions to submit a new operational plan and a schedule to introduce new equipment, such as sleeper cars.
NOEMA is also requesting the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Recreation carry out a study on the role the railway could have for tourism. As part of that study, the ministry would consult with Casino Rama in Orillia on the viability of a casino train as a tourist attraction, offering packages with the private sector for accommodations and visiting tourist attractions, and developing theme cars.