The future of Via Rail is being discussed this week in New Brunswick at a series of public meetings across the province.  

Greg Gormick, a transportation consultant and director of a campaign called The National Dream Renewed, is crossing the country holding public hearings, to ask people what kind of passenger rail service they want.

"I think the people should have a say over the future of their railway," said Gormick.  

"We're giving them that opportunity and I still believe that there are people in Ottawa in high places who would be willing to listen to this, so with that kind of optimism, that's how we're moving forward."

'They want the trains and they will use them and they're telling me their frustration in that they have said this before and nobody seems to be listening.' —Greg Gormick, transportation consultant

Gormick's tour comes in the wake of the latest cuts to Via's train between Halifax and Montreal.  

About 60 people turned out for the first New Brunswick meeting in Moncton on Tuesday night, he said.

Gormick said after listening to Canadians he will write a report on what Via Rail should be and deliver it to Ottawa.  

"It's not as if you're dealing with people who just go, 'Oh I want a train, even though I won't use it,'" said Gormick.  

"They want the trains and they will use them and they're telling me their frustration in that they have said this before and nobody seems to be listening, and I understand that, so we're trying to, in a sense, give them a forum."

Gormick contends rail services should be growing, not being cut.

People want frequent, affordable rail service, he said, suggesting Via look to Amtrak in the United States as a model that could work.

Other town hall meetings are set for Thursday night in Campbellton, Friday night in Bathurst and Saturday afternoon in Miramichi.