Town Hall meeting to discuss efforts to return rail travel to Muskoka

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The Committee Promoting Muskoka Rail Travel (CPMRT) will host a Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, August 23 at 7 p.m. at the District Municipality of Muskoka’s Council Chambers at 70 Pine Street in Bracebridge.  The Town Hall meeting will be an opportunity for the public to discuss the opportunities that the return of passenger rail services would bring to our communities, and to learn how the public can support CPMRT’s efforts to bring rail travel back to Muskoka.

CPMRT is a volunteer group of community leaders who believe that improving and expanding passenger rail service is good public policy for all communities in Ontario. The committee is working with another grassroots group in Northern Ontario (NEORN) to encourage the provincial government to bring scheduled passenger services back to Muskoka and other regions in Ontario. CPMRT members include: Lucille Frith & David Powley (CPMRT Co-chairs), Eric Boutilier (Northern and Eastern Ontario Rail Network), Michael Lawley (Executive Director, Muskoka Tourism), and John Klinck (Chair, District Municipality of Muskoka).

“There are many benefits to our communities if rail travel returns to Muskoka,” explains Lucille Frith, CPMRT Co-chair.  “Convenient, reliable train travel offers many benefits such as a relaxed, stress-free ride; reduced congestion and accidents on highways; reduced need for capital and operating expenses to keep expanding the highways system; environmentally friendly; reduced carbon footprints; and reduced impact on agricultural land.”

The committee is also encouraging the public to provide input through an online survey to help better understand transportation use and identify needs in Muskoka. Community participation in this survey will help frame the debate here in Muskoka and may provide a legacy for future generations. The public can access the CPMRT survey at surveymonkey.com/r/5KKD7VK until September 10.

For more information about the town hall meeting or the online survey, please contact Lucille Frith by calling 705-789-8903 or email [email protected] For information about the Northern and Eastern Ontario Rail Network (NEORN), the grassroots group working to bring back passenger rail, please visit neorn.ca.

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6 Comments

  1. Valerie McCormick on

    Let’s skate to where the puck is going???? Let’s have rail service renewed. Having said that Too bad the Town sold the station for $2.00.

    • Lucille Frith on

      Not yet sold – comments to be accepted at town hall in writing (not email!) by Aug 16 . Town first must declare surplus on Aug 28 when Council meets .
      Have Your say – if they really wanted to ” sell” the station and not ” give it away” the town should have listed it as a property for sale and perhaps taxpayers would have received other offers .
      Could Council reconsider the offer and revisit the opportunity to sell on the open market (and not buried in a RFP) – ask the town by the 16th
      Better yet, perhaps our heritage should not be declared ‘ surplus ‘ and we could look to the Historical Society’s offer instead. Or perhaps have a public discussion on the use of the station and how to pay for it’s maintenance.
      Meanwhile let’s continue to work towards passenger train service in Muskoka. Remember all rail lines east and west come through Muskoka so what is decided for northern Ontario will affect Muskoka
      And YES WE NEED PASSENGER RAIL SERVICE IN MUSKOKA

    • Lucille Frith on

      Huntsville does have a station – taxpayers still own it – for now – tell council you want the town to keep the station and find partners to help with costs to keep it in public hands!.
      Written comment delivered to Town Hall by closing on Wednesday 16th will be considered.
      Make your voice heard. But do it NOW
      By the way, CN owns the station platform and that does not change!

  2. Would like to see Ontario Northland back in Huntsville, but the problem of scheduling needs to be addressed. They need to look at a North Bay to Toronto run as a separate train, rather than piggy backing it on the far north runs, the times were never conducive to using the train for the short trips to the city and back.

    I also really want to see a station for Torrance on the Via line re-visited, I know you can book a stop ahead of time, but it’s not the same when the name of your town isn’t on the schedule. When it’s not there, it doesn’t exist to travelers who don’t know any better.

    • Emmersun Austin on

      CN corporation needs a grand re.thinking as a rail ‘owner/operator & accomodate passengers 1st & cargo 2nd. Justin Trudeau could help facilitate this. An upgraded rail line & slick new equipment could easily re-vitalize rail service. Giving Huntsville station a resurgence.

      Awaiting moderation.

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