Groups lobbying to restore passenger rail service in northeastern Ontario are amalgamating in the hope they can see the Northlander passenger train reinstated.

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When the brakes were applied for the final time on the Northlander, it marked the end of more than 100 years of passenger rail history on the route. The province has committed to keeping the Polar Bear Express running, however, and says ONTC bus service will be enhanced. (Ontario Northland)

The Northern and Eastern Ontario Rail Network group has the energy and knowledge necessary to bring back the rail system, said Linda Savory-Gordon, who is with the group.

The province discontinued the Ontario Northland service last fall.

Savory-Gordon said the rail link between Toronto and northeastern Ontario failed because it wasn't marketed properly.

"No attempt was made by the ONTC to encourage cottagers to [use the service]," she said.

"Most cottagers didn't even know that there was a train service that was taking them within real close vicinity of their cottages."

For starters, the group will lobby municipalities for support, and will reach also out to First Nations.

"People are extremely frustrated with the lack of vision of the province on this issue, and the federal government," Savory-Gordon said.