Ontario Northland shelter concept

Photos: Enseicom

CANADA: The government of Ontario has awarded contracts for infrastructure works to enable the reinstatement of Ontario Northland’s Northlander passenger service between Toronto Union station and a new Timmins-Porcupine station.

Enseicom is to design and manufacture shelters with seats, lighting and heating for the stations at Matheson, Kirkland Lake, Temiskaming Shores, Temagami, South River, Huntsville, Bracebridge, Gravenhurst and Washago. Ontario Northland CEO Chad Evans said these would be ‘safe, comfortable and accessible, providing a consistent, modern passenger experience’.

Remcan is to undertake track improvements to enhance safety and decrease maintenance requirements.

X-Rail will complete warning system upgrades along the corridor north of North Bay.

Track upgrading and the construction of station platforms, car parks and paths is to begin this summer.

The previous Northlander service was replaced by buses in 2012, however a business case for a revival was published in 2021 with traffic predicted at 40 000 to 60 000 passengers/year by 2041.

In 2022 Siemens Mobility was awarded a C$139·5m contract to supply three loco-hauled trainsets. Manufacturing began this May.

The future service will operate four to seven days a week, according to seasonal demand.

‘People and businesses in northern and central Ontario deserve the same access to safe and reliable transportation as the rest of the province’, said Associate Minister of Transportation Vijay Thanigasalam on May 31. ’Reinstating the Northlander will not only support our northern industries and resource sectors, but it will also pave the way for a more integrated transportation network that connects communities from the north to the south.’