Polar Bear Express Reinstatement - effective June 25, 2020
Ontario Northland reinstated the Polar Bear Express passenger train service between Cochrane and Moosonee. The train operates twice weekly on Mondays and Thursdays with the same departure times. Passengers can expect increased COVID-19 safety and hygiene practices, as well as new protocols. These include:
All passengers and employees will be required to wear a face covering when boarding or moving through the coach (except when seated in their assigned seat). Children under the age of two (2) and people with difficulty breathing unrelated to COVID-19 should not use face coverings.
Passengers will be screened prior to boarding which consists of speaking with an Ontario Northland employee to answer a short health questionnaire.
The dining car will not be in service. Passengers are encouraged to bring non-alcoholic beverages and snacks for the journey. Alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited in the passenger coaches.
Passengers will not be able to move from car to car.
The passenger cars have enhanced cleaning protocols prior to each trip. Cleaning focuses on passenger and employee touch points, including arm rests and door handles. Onboard staff have been deployed to sanitize the train while in operation. Additionally, an anti-microbial spray has been applied to all passenger coaches to help keep surfaces clean.
To respect physical distancing, we reduced the number of seats that can be occupied per passenger coach. Please sit in your assigned seat and do not change seats throughout the trip.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is available in all passenger coaches near the washrooms.
Passengers are asked to be at the boarding station at least 30 minutes in advance of departure to allow for the health screening questions.
For passengers travelling to or from Moosonee, be advised that Provincial guidelines and regulations are applicable when you return.
- Recommendations remain in place to limit contact with people from a different household, keep 2 metres (6 feet) apart, practice safe hygiene.
For passengers travelling to or from Moose Factory, be advised that there are additional safety protocols in place.
- Moose Cree First Nations Residents of Moose Factory that travel away from the community, beyond Moosonee, Ontario must quarantine for fourteen (14) days upon returning to Moose Factory.
Passengers are encouraged to reserve their tickets in advance by calling 1-800-461-8558 or visiting the Moosonee, Cochrane, or Timmins station. Online reservations are temporarily suspended to allow the ticket agents the ability to assign seating according to COVID-19 physical distancing measures in place.
Please present your printed paper ticket to the conductor. Alternatively, customers may choose to present an electronic ticket (viewable on a mobile device) to the conductor, along with government photo ID.
Tickets can be purchased by phone at:
- Cochrane: 800.265.2356 or 705.272.4228 (7:00am-10:30pm Daily)
- Moosonee: 705.336.2210 (10:00am-6:00pm Sun–Fri)
- Moose Factory: 705.658.4619 (8:30am-5:00pm Mon-Fri *closed 12:00pm-1:00pm)
- Timmins: 705.264.1377 (6:00am-10:30pm Daily)
For passengers boarding at a Flag Stop location, please contact one of our ticket offices noted above. Please note all flag stop times are approximations.
The Polar Bear Express operates a reduced schedule in response to COVID-19 two days per week (Monday, Thursday) departing Cochrane at 9 am and arriving in Moosonee at 1:50 pm. The train departs Moosonee at 5 pm and arrives in Cochrane at 9:45 pm.
Travelling with Children
Tickets for children under the age of two (2) are not required when they are not occupying a seat. Please let the Customer Service Sales Agent know you are travelling with an infant under the age of 2, and a notation will be made on the passenger manifest so the Conductor is aware of the infant travelling with the adult.
The Polar Bear Express is equipped with a baggage car, allowing passengers to check their baggage before they depart. Each ticketed passenger is allowed a maximum of three (3) pieces of checked baggage at no charge (weighing a maximum of 23 kg or 50 lbs). Additional pieces may be checked at an additional charge of $5.00 each. Ontario Northland also provides an Express Freight service allowing passengers to ship oversized and/or overweight baggage up to 34 kg or 75 lbs.
The following articles may be checked as baggage:
- Any type of gun, firearm, replicas, ammunition, explosives, or weapons, including cross-bows and arrows (must be locked and secured in proper receptacles)
- Sharp objects such as axes, ice picks, knives or swords (must be locked and secured in proper receptacles)
- Groceries (not in excess of 23 kg or 50 lbs and properly packed)
Each ticketed passenger is also allowed a maximum of one piece of carry-on baggage. Personal items such as purses, briefcases, laptops, or infant items such as strollers, car seats or diaper bags are not included in this limit. For more information visit Rules and Regulations or contact us by phone at 1.800.265.2356.
Ontario Northland is able to accommodate most wheeled mobility devices on our services. We operate wheelchair lift devices for the train. If you require access to our wheelchair lift in Moosonee or Cochrane, please let us know your requirement and make your reservation 48 hours in advance by calling 1.800.265.2356. Ontario Northland also provides complimentary travel for attendants.
AIR MILES® Reward Miles
Customers can get AIR MILES® Reward Miles when purchasing passenger tickets for our bus service.
For the Polar Bear Express, get 1 Mile for every $20.00 spent. Not valid for group purchases or warrant purchases.
®™ Trademarks of AIR MILES International Trading B.V. Used under license by LoyaltyOne, Co. and Ontario Northland Transportation Commission.
Safety and Security
Ontario Northland is committed to providing a safe and pleasant environment for all its passengers and employees. Disrespectful or unsafe behaviour will not be tolerated on board Ontario Northland transportation services or in our stations. To find out more view our On Board Policies and Passenger Code of Conduct.