NORTH BAY, ON, Nov. 17, 2014 /CNW/ - Refurbishment work has begun on Ontario Northland's Polar Bear Express. The train that connects Cochrane to Moosonee will feature new equipment with leather seats, accessible washrooms, modern flooring, luggage space, dining cars and much more. The train will also provide an electrical/USB outlet at every seat and we will continue to offer lots of leg room and storage areas for personal belongings.
The project includes the refurbishment of:
- Eight standard passenger coaches;
- Two accessible coaches that will meet AODA standards;
- Two dining cars;
- One snack car;
- One family car (a car with an enclosed play area for children with comfortable seating for parents), and;
- Two baggage cars.
"This is an exciting project," states Corina Moore, Interim President and CEO of Ontario Northland. "We have operated this train for 50 years and we know how vital it is to the communities along the James Bay Coast. The new train equipment is engineered to handle the challenging climate and geography, and will meet the needs of our passengers. I am extremely proud of this project and I know it will have a significant impact to the communities we serve."
The refurbishment project will take 3 years to complete. Beyond the renewal of equipment, online ticketing and a new reservation system will be implemented in the next year.
"This is an important project for communities from Cochrane to Moosonee and I am proud that our government will invest $17 million over three years to refurbish passenger coaches for the Polar Bear Express," states Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines. "The Polar Bear coaches will be redesigned to better meet the needs of the community. This will provide continued work for the refurbishment shop and send a clear signal that the ONTC is open for business. This new strategic investment is part of our plan to ensure ONTC's transportation services and infrastructure continues to support economic growth in northeastern Ontario."
Events will be held in Cochrane and Moosonee to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the train and introduce this refurbishment project to the communities. We invite the public to attend and learn more about the future of this vital northern train.
Tuesday, November 18th
Cochrane Station, Cochrane
5 pm to 7 pm
Wednesday, November 19th
Northern College Gymnasium, Moosonee
5 pm to 7 pm
About the Polar Bear Express
The Polar Bear Express connects Cochrane to the town of Moosonee, located on the James Bay Coast. It is the only all-season land link to Moosonee and provides vital transportation services. The train transports over 60,000 passengers each year.
About Ontario Northland
Ontario Northland, an Agency of the Province of Ontario, was established in 1902 and is a recognized leader in promoting sustainable economic growth by establishing and operating transportation links primarily in Northeastern Ontario.
SOURCE: Ontario Northland Transportation Commission
For further information: about Ontario Northland please contact: Rebecca McGlynn, [email protected], tel: 705.472.4500 or 1.800.363.7512 ext. 529, cell 705.845.8005