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Who are the Passenger Rail Advocacy Groups in Southwestern Ontario

It is not easy being in the passenger rail advocacy business in Canada. For most Canadians, VIA Rail has not been a viable alternative to the automobile. Crippling federal government cuts, lack of investment and travelling on tracks owned by a private company, has left VIA Rail struggling to survive.

Recent announcements that VIA may restore a train to Sarnia  was greeted with cautious optimism by passenger rail groups fighting to get  service or improved service in their community.

For communities from Kitchener, Cambridge into Toronto the Wynne government continues to push with local governments for more GO Rail transit. There is a new study in progress looking at ways to get off the CN freight railway for quicker, more reliable rail service.

For fans of high speed rail travel in Canada, it is definitely still a waiting game. Perhaps the elections in October will bring a government in that is pro-high speed rail. Both main opposition leaders Mulcair and Trudeau have been quiet on the topic. High Speed Rail Canada will continue to promote and educate Canadians on high speed rail travel.

We feel it is time to recognize the groups that are working so hard to get improved VIA Rail and bus service in Southwestern Ontario. Please feel free to join these groups listed below in their fight.

Rail Advocacy in Lambton - RAIL

Is a dedicated group of citizens & community leaders affected by the continuing loss of passenger rail service, primarily between Sarnia and London, Ontario. RAIL was established in June 2013 to advocate for better VIA Passenger Rail Service in Sarnia-Lambton and Southwestern Ontario. The concept of a National Rail Policy is, in their view, a necessary step in supporting a sustainable passenger rail system for all Canadians.

Contact them via their website:

Southwestern Ontario Transportation Alliance

 An integrated, sustainable, passenger transportation system for Southwestern Ontario securing the prosperity of our communities; connecting citizens to centres of excellence in education, healthcare and innovation; connecting to adjacent regional networks; and feeding into a fast, reliable, well-serviced Chicago—Quebec City corridor.

 To connect community groups, government stakeholders, and businesses working towards the integration and enhancement of rail, bus, and local transit services across Southwestern Ontario; and to work toward the creation of a regional transportation agency for Southwestern Ontario. The Southwestern Ontario region is comprised of the cities, counties, and municipalities in the area bounded by the Detroit River in the west and Wellington County in the east

Contact them via their website:

Transport Action Ontario 

Is a non-government organization advocating for sustainable public and freight transportation.We are part of a federation of 5 regional associations across Canada, each concerned with local and regional issues. The umbrella organization is Transport Action Canada, a registered charity.

Contact them via their website:

Getting There   

The Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) Stratford is a voluntary non-profit organization of women dedicated to education and to positive change for a peaceful, sustainable future. They currently have 74 members.

Contact them via their website:

Save VIA Rail Committee St. Marys

Started as a grassroots response to the VIA Rail cuts announced in 2012 (Save VIA Train86), this collective is supporting a national dialogue on building an integrated transportation system for Canada with regional solutions.

Contact them via their website   (sign the petition there) or perhaps a more current link is their facebook page -

Greg Gormick

A transportation guru in Ontario with many years of experience, who has been hired by some of these groups and has produced a report recommending a new passenger rail, bus framework for Ontario.

Contact Greg via email: