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Polar Bear Express to run three days a week

Depending on demand, a fourth day could be added
train wheels rail stock

The Polar Bear Express will soon be running three times a week.

Starting Sept. 7, the Cochrane-to-Moosonee train will operate on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the Town of Moosonee announced on Wednesday.

The Ontario Northland train will leave Cochrane at 9 a.m. and arrive in Moosonee at 2 p.m. It will depart Moosonee at 5 p.m. and arrive in Cochrane at 10 p.m.

According to the notice, a fourth day may be added to the service depending on passenger demand.

The passenger service was suspended in April due to COVID-19 and reinstated June 25 with a reduced train service.

Safety measures such as passenger screening, wearing a mask when not seated, frequent sanitizing of contact surfaces and assigned seating will remain in place.

“These steps significantly reduce the capacity of passenger trains to 25 to 50 per cent of the pre-COVID levels,” reads the statement.

“The elected council of the Town of Moosonee, with feedback from the Moosonee Pandemic Control Group, has maintained and continues to maintain that the ONR Passenger service is an essential service that is critical to the town and region to ensure that contractors, professionals, businesses and residents can travel into and out of Moosonee, ensuring that important medical, business, family and employment needs are met.”

Flights in and out of the community are also happening more frequently. 

In March, Air Creebec discontinued regular scheduled flights, but continued essential services with its partners for areas such as health authorities and mining sites. While the flights slowed down, the service wasn't cancelled.

Flights are now running on a regular basis.

There are return flights between Timmins and Moosonee on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. 

Tuesday and Thursday the plane leaves Timmins at 9 a.m. The flight out of Moosonee leaves at 3:55 p.m. 

The Timmins departure is the same for Friday, however the return flight is 1:55 p.m.

Depending on the demand for flights to Peawanuck, Air Creebec says service to there will be offered Thursdays.