|From Save our Trains in Northern NB|
(Tide Head, New Brunswick) -- As Save Our Trains in Northern NB Facebook page approaches 1,000 likes, we continue build our group and gain support. Now that Via Rail has cut the Ocean from 6 to 3 days weekly, we see how much the cuts hurt people in our part of the country.
"We can't make day trips to Moncton for shopping or hospital treatments anymore. People wishing to head west for a full weekend in places like Montreal or Ottawa now have to leave on Tuesday. The new schedule does not work for students," says Justin Babcock the Facebook page administrator for the group.
Besides trying to get the Ocean restored to daily service, another big challenge for our group is a portion of the track the Ocean using through Northern New Brunswick. CN has applied to abandon 131 miles of track, stretching from Belledune, NB to just outside of Moncton. CN plans to discontinue service in March 2014.
The Ocean will then be rerouted over CN’s other line in New Brunswick, which runs through mostly isolated areas. Not only will we lose passenger rail service in northern N.B, we may lose the potential to attract much needed industry to the north shore of N.B. We want our government to insure this line stays open and the Ocean continues to use this route.
"Via Rail's plan seems designed to fail. We fear the next step will be the outright elimination of a passenger rail service which has been serving us for over 104 years. We want our train, The Ocean, to be restored to daily round-trip service. It also should be marketed and advertised in the towns along its route," Babcock says.
We are reaching out to people in other parts of the country. Tonight (Nov. 7) in Stratford, Ontario Transport Action is holding its seventh town hall meeting on Via Rail in Stratford, Ontario. https://www.facebook.com/NationalDreamRenewed
On Thursday (Nov. 8) Sault Ste. Marie's Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains will be rallying support to bring passenger rail back to the North Shore of Georgian Bay and Lake Superior.
You can make your views known via this online emailing form built by our allies from Waterloo Region in Ontario http://tritag.ca/m/via/.
We encourage the public to fonts their local MLAs, MPs, Transport Minister Denis Lebel at 613-996-6236 denis.lebel.P9@parl.gc.ca and VIA Rail CEO Marc Laliberté firstname.lastname@example.org 514-871-6150.
If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to email us at SaveOurTrains@THFD.ca. We will have a web site online in the coming weeks. Save Our Trains in Northern NB looks forward for your support regarding this issue. We will not give up until our train runs daily, as it should be.
506 789 0320