From four a week to two to none.  Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario Northland has cancelled the Polar Bear Express passenger rail service between Cochrane and Moosonee.

Communications manager Renée Baker says that takes effect next Tues., April 7th.

“The decision to suspend the service was made collaboratively with the government of Ontario, Mushkegowuk Council, Moose Cree First Nation and the local health authorities as wel,” she says.

Chiefs in the indigenous communities the train serves asked for the cancellation, to protect their people from the virus. Baker says the decision will be re-evaluated every couple of weeks.

Because of voluntary restrictions on inter-community travel, there wasn’t a big demand for the service anyway.

“For the month of April,” Baker outlines, “I think we had about 20 reservations that we had to reach out to passengers to confirm that those trips wouldn’t be happening.”

Freight service remains.