As Ontario works to restore passenger train service in Northern Ontario, Timmins has been designated as a rail station site.
Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney made the announcement on social media Thursday after the province released its 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook.
In a statement, Mayor George Pirie said the benefits of train service would be widespread.
“This is good news for local residents, businesses and industry. Although studies are ongoing, the fact that Porcupine was chosen as the terminus is a good start. Timmins’ position as a regional hub will be enhanced by the availability of another transportation option. ,” he said.
In the spring, the government announced its intention to restore passenger rail service in the North. Planning and design work is expected to be completed in 2022, with potential for rail service restored in the mid-2020s. The province has committed $5 million for feasibility work.
Communications adviser Nick Eakins said Timmins is a key hub because of its large population and employment base.
“We are currently working on a route assessment, and this includes working with the ONTC to expedite work on a track audit on a section of the North Bay Corridor that will examine safety and infrastructure for potential future rail service,” Eakins said.
“We want to get it right and we won’t take any shortcuts as we move forward.
“We will also continue to explore possibilities of connecting Cochrane to any future North East passenger rail service.”
MTO did not provide a firm date or additional timeline for the return of the passenger train.
Passenger rail service was canceled in Northern Ontario in 2012. At that time, train service did not serve Timmins and was a Toronto to Cochrane line.
In 2018, Premier Doug Ford made a campaign promise to restore passenger rail service.
The next election in Ontario will be in June 2022.
In Timmins, Pirie is the PC candidate.