The one year extension of federal government funding for the Algoma Central Railway Passenger Service from Sault Ste. Marie to Hearst will end in March, 2015. Transport Action Ontario has sent a letter to Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt urging continued support for this service. The letter summarizes the excellent progress that has been achieved over the past year.
The letter can be viewed here: TAO-letter-Raitt re ACR-2015-01-29
On January 27, 2014, CN announced the termination of passenger service on this railroad from Sault Saint Marie to Hearst, as the Federal government had ended the subsidy that pays for the passenger service. As a result CN announced that service would end on March 31, 2014 (subsequently extended to April 29, 2014).
A major advocacy program is underway, led by local municipal governments and our affiliate organization, the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT). For a complete update on the CAPT activities, click the link here.
The advocacy includes conducting three Town Hall meetings – in Sault Ste. Marie, Wawa and Hearst to increase citizen awareness and understanding. Transport Action’s past president, Harry Gow, will be the guest speaker. A copy of the Transport Action presentation can be viewed here: NDR Slides SSM Wawa-Feb 2014
The National Association of Rail Passengers (NARP) is a US non-government organization advocating for improved passenger rail and rail transit. They have sent a letter to Canada’s ambassador to the US, Honourable Gary Doer, expressing concern with the announcement that Sault Ste. Marie – Hearst rail service (Algoma Central) will end March 31 and a CBC report this week that Montreal-Halifax VIA Rail Canada service could end in as early as June.
The NARP letter can be viewed here.
On November 28, 2013, Bill Walker, MPP Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, presented a resolution at Queen’s Park to immediately strike a Rural and Northern Transportation Committee to study transportation needs in these regions. Transport Action Ontario was very pleased to see that all parties in the Legislature supported this resolution.
In January, 2014, Transport Action Ontario wrote to Mr. Walker offering congratulations, describing our organization, and providing some preliminary comments on one of our projects (North Main Line). We asked to be given the opportunity to speak to this committee.
Our letter can be viewed here: TAO-letter-Bill Walker