Opportunities to sign letters to federal government about Algoma passenger train at Station Mall in the Sault

If you are in the Sault area and would prefer to sign paper copies of the online letter to Federal government decision-makers asking for reinstatement of the Algoma passenger train NOW:

  • come to the Station Mall on the morning of Wed. May 24 from 9:30 to 1:30
  • or the afternoon of Wed. June 1 from 1:30 to 4:30 pm.

Look for the CAPT table in front of EB Games store.


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1.     Media Release re: Online Petition

This is the media release jointly sent out today by CAPT and Mask-Wa Residents Association:


MEDIA RELEASE :  May 12, 2016

The Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) and the Mask-Wa Residents Association have created a new on-line letter to Transport Canada, Minister Marc Garneau, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, MP Terry Sheehan and MP Carol Hughes asking for the passenger train service on the Algoma Central Railway to be reinstated right away.

This is the text of the letter posted at: This is the text of the letter posted at:  https://www.change.org/p/justin-trudeau-acr-passenger-train-needed-now?recruiter=438018678&utm_source=share_for_starters&utm_medium=copyLink


The Algoma passenger train has not been operating for almost a year and has resulted in substantial hardships for residents, businesses and other passengers.  Most passengers have no other way to travel to their properties and businesses.  400 km of the 470 km Algoma rail line is not accessible by public road. For the few people who have found alternate ways to access their residences, those alternatives, such as logging roads, are not reliable, safe or year round.  People have been injured and/or had their vehicles badly damaged on the logging roads. Logging roads are only maintained when and if logging companies need them. The Algoma passenger train has been the only safe, affordable, all-season access into the Algoma wilderness rail corridor for over 100 years.

  Given that the mission of Transport Canada is:  “to serve the public interest through the promotion of a safe and secure, efficient and environmentally responsible transportation system in Canada”; we ask that the Algoma passenger train be put back in service right away.

  We have been patient with the process, but we have suffered substantial losses to the local economy and employment as a result of the cancellation of the passenger train service last year, as well as loss of safe, reliable access to our residences, businesses and recreation.  We question why the Algoma passenger train service has been allowed to lapse for almost a year given the social, economic, employment and tax generation values it supports as shown in the BDO Canada report of 2015. Also, why has the process of resuming service taken so long?

  Due to further economic downturns in Algoma district, we cannot afford this loss of train-related employment, economic impact and lack of safe, reliable access to continue. We understand the Missanabie Cree First Nation has developed a proposal to operate the Algoma Passenger Train. It is urgent that service be restored NOW.

  Media contacts:

Linda Savory Gordon (CAPT)   705 943 0971 or 705 949 2301 es 4320  linda.savory-gordon@algomau.ca

Len Piccolo (Mask-Wa Residents Association)  705 987 2580 mask.wa.residents@gmail.com

2.     Recent Media Coverage

  Passenger train service movement growing by Elaine Della-Mattia, Sault Star  Tues, May 10, 2016

Support Growing | myAlgoma.ca

Regional group looking to see train service revitalized by richard.coffin on May 12, 2016

CAPT says Passenger Train is Needed Now – Launches Change.org Petition  Wawa-News

Passenger train service movement growing | Sault Star Elaine Della-Mattia

  Sootoday  Bring our train back right this minute: CAPT

Before more people are injured trying to get to their camps


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Latest media coverage


CTV Northern Ontario : Rail line hopes by Jordan Allard


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Latest Media Coverage; new presentation added to CAPT website:

Latest Media Coverage

“Property owners along rail line form new group” By Elaine Della-Mattia, Sault Star, April 20, 2016

“Remote train people band together, as fight resumes to save service. Future not-for-profit to be created”

“Keeping Passenger Rail Service Alive in the North: Founding Meeting of Mask-wa Residents Association”

  A new presentation has been added

A presentation titled "Working to Save the ACR Passenger Train" has been added to the "Documentations/Presentations/Films" menu. 

This presentation outlines why CAPT was formed. Through pictures, slideshows, videos and text, you can see the reasons the passenger train is so important to so many people. The train takes people to their private camps, tourists, to hunting/fishing lodges/camping experiences, where a number of outdoor activities are enjoyed and appreciated.

Using the same method as mentioned above, events such as the Searchmont North Pole Express, Group of Seven/Glenn Gould Event, and other money making strategies are outlined.

You can find this presentation by clicking on "Documentations/presentations/films" on the menu above.

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Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven screenings


Thank you to all who made the recent screening of Painted Land in Sault Ste. Marie so successful. There was a huge turnout to see the film about the newly discovered Group of Seven painting sites along the ACR, to see how the famous artists accessed the amazing Algoma landscapes by the passenger train and to hear a most stimulating panel discussion moderated by Chancellor Shirley Horn.  Also on the panel were artist Frank Belleau, Carol Caputo (Algoma Kinnawabi Travel Association) and art historian Michael Burtch.  Indigenous perspectives were eloquently presented.

On the day of the Sault screening, Michael Burtch was interviewed on CBC Radio.  Here is the link to that interview:

 CAPT is of course delighted that Spirit Land continues to be screened throughout the country. This is a terrific way for more people to become aware of the importance of keeping the Algoma passenger train running.  Since there are some on the CAPT email list to whom these messages are sent who live in the Toronto area we want to let you know about the upcoming screenings there.

This is a link to the dates for the screenings of Painted Land at the Bloor Cinema in Toronto:

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Reminder about film screening on Wed; latest media coverage

1.       Reminder about Painted Land film screening:

This is a reminder that the fabulous film with so much footage taken along the ACR line will be shown this Wed. Mar. 23 at 7:00 pm.

Tickets can be purchased:

  • on line at www.nordikinstitute.com
  •  at Shabby Motley on Queen
  •  at Café Natura on Elgin or
  •  at the door if not sold out.

2.     Latest Media Coverage:

First Nation to take lead on passenger rail - SooToday.com  Mar 16, 2016 by Kenneth Armstrong

CTV Northern Ontario:  Algoma Central Railway by  Jairus Patterson March 18, 2016

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Group of Seven Film Screening: Wed. Mar 23, 2016 7 pm Grand Theatre

1.     Group of Seven Film Screening: Wed. Mar 23, 2016,
7 pm Grand Theatre

 Great opportunity to see the film entitled Painted Land:  In Search of the Group of Seven.  This film shows how important the passenger train is as the only form of transportation that the Group of Seven painters had to access the sites that they painted along the ACR line and continues to be the only form of transportation for those who wish to re-access all those sites. It runs through such an important Canadian cultural corridor.

This is the media release that provides the details:


Film on Group of Seven Returns Due to Strong Demand

“The most important thing a painter can do is find a good place to sit.” – J.E.H. MacDonald

 Sault Ste. Marie hosted two sold-out showings of Painted Land:  In Search of the Group of Seven last October during the Algoma Fall Festival, but theatre-goers and art lovers alike have shown such interest in the locally produced film, that it is being brought back to the Grand Theatre on Queen Street on Wednesday  March 23.  Co-hosted by NORDIK Institute and the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) this screening will be followed by a panel of local speakers involved in the film’s making. 

 “This film is not only about the artists and their work” says Michael Burtch, art historian and Research Associate at NORDIK Institute.  “It is about how the remote, rugged wilderness of Northern Ontario influenced, inspired and provided healing to them, after their experiences in the First World War”.  Past meets present in Painted Land and weaves seamlessly the experiences of  Lawren Harris, J.E.H. MacDonald, A.Y. Jackson, Frank Johnston, Arthur Lismer, Franklin Carmichael and A.J. Casson, as they explored Algoma’s Landscape by rail, staying in a boxcar of the  Algoma Central Railway for several summers – with the adventures of three modern day sleuths. Historian Michael Burtch, and the writer and photographer team of Gary and Joanie McGuffin are determined to track down the precise locations of these famous paintings. Archival film, letters, journals and photographs of the artists – some of which have never been seen in public – take the viewers back in time. This film weaves this history with a modern day adventure, up mountains, down canyon rivers and over portages with our trio as they try to achieve their own personal quest: to actually ‘walk in the Group of Seven’s footsteps’

The panel discussion, entitled “Connecting Land, Art and People:  Multiple Perspectives” will be moderated by Missanabie Cree Elder and Chancellor of Algoma University, Shirley Horn, and  features Michael Burtch, local artist Frank Belleau, and Carol Caputo from the Algoma Kinnawabi Tourism association.  Burtch and Belleau were involved with making the film as were local adventurers Gary and Joanie McGuffin and videographer Dan Nystedt.

Tickets for the film may be purchased at local businesses:

  • Café Natura on Elgin Street
  • Shabby Motley Handcraft on Queen,
  • or on-line at nordikinstitute.com

2.     Latest media coverage:

Sault Star Mar 12, 2016  "Is good news around the corner for rail users?” by Mike Verdone

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Hugely successful book sale; Recent media coverage

1.     Hugely successful book sale

O0020 (2)Many thanks to organizers Dorothy Macnaughton, Donna Cushley and Lauren Doxtater and all of the other volunteers who helped make the CAPT book sale a resounding success. Over $1200 was raised that will go to efforts to restore passenger train service in the Algoma district.

2.     Recent Media Coverage

“Transportation Advocacy groups speaks up about proposed changes” on CBC Radio Up North  March 9, 2016

The federal government is reviewing its Canada Transportation Act, and several recommendations could impact rail service in northern Ontario. Transport Action Canada president Harry Gow spoke about his concerns.

'Exciting proposal' coming for passenger train, says train group

“Northern Ontario: Rail service on track”  by Jordan Allard on CTV Northern Ontario Mar 7, 2016

“ACR Passenger Train Service on the Horizon? Sault Working Group and EDC Think So”

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Important media release about Algoma passesnger train and further media coverage of CAPT board member’s award

1.     Important media release about passenger train:

Media Release
Algoma Passenger Train Clarification

The Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains(CAPT) is anxious to clarify some confusion resulting from a recently published article about the status of the Algoma passenger train. As CAPT’s representative on the Algoma Passenger Train Working Group, Linda Savory Gordon reports that very positive progress is being made to resume the passenger train service on the ACR line. Over the past few weeks, under the initiative of Missanabie Cree First Nation’s Chief Jason Gauthier, the working group has been working on a very exciting proposal. As soon as the relevant parties have finalized their input, a media conference will be called to announce the plans.

We feel very optimistic about the reinstatement of the passenger train sometime this spring. The disruption of passenger train service has been very difficult for property owners and businesses and a failure to resume passenger train services would be devastating. The Algoma passenger train is important to the region's economy and employment both because of it's past socio-economic impacts, but also because of underdeveloped and neglected potentials both for First Nations and the broader economy and employment.

CAPT media contact: 

Linda Savory Gordon 705 949 2301  ex 4320  or 705 943 0971 (cell)      linda.savory-gordon@algomau.ca

2.     Further media coverage of award to Dorothy Macnaughton, CAPT Board Member.

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CAPT Supports Transport Action Canada’s Letter


Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains Media Release     

CAPT Supports Transport Action Canada's Letter

The Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) supports Transport Action Canada's concerns outlined in the letter below about the Canada Transportation Act (CTA) review which recommends considering the elimination of subsidies for the Toronto to Vancouver passenger train known as The Canadian.  This train is one of the few remaining passenger train services in Northern Ontario. It travels through remote First Nations and communities in Northern Ontario and crosses the Algoma Central Railway at Oba. The connection of The Canadian and the Algoma passenger train is one that those working to save and improve the Algoma passenger service plans to make more functional so that passengers from all over Canada can access the Algoma passenger train at Oba by transferring to and fromThe Canadian.  The recommendation in the CTA review was made without respecting the duty to consult First Nations as well as Northern Ontario communities that would be affected.  We call on local media to cover this matter that would further reduce Northern Ontario's already dysfunctional transportation system. 




308 - 211 Bronson Ave.


Tel. 613 - 594 - 3290

 March 2nd 2016

 To: Linda Savory-Gordon, Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT)

Subject: Review of Transportation Act suggests de-funding Northern Ontario VIA passenger train

 The report of the Canada Transportation Act review chaired by the Honourable David Emerson contains a number of recommendations, for Passenger Rail including:

 that the Government of Canada increase the use of private sector approaches for federally-operated passenger rail services including by:

a. considering the elimination of subsidies for the Toronto-Vancouver service;

b. supporting the on-going feasibility of a dedicated corridor from Montréal to Toronto;

c. continuing the federal subsidy for the regional and remote, and the Montréal- Halifax services, in partnership with, and with contributions from, the provinces and communities concerned; etc. ...

 Transport Action Canada has met with Ministry of Transport staff in Ottawa and discussed the Review, and will comment to the Ministry on a number of recommendations after analysing the report in depth.  Meanwhile, a letter to the Minister following the meeting contained the following remarks:

 "Although we haven't yet had opportunity to examine the document in detail, it would appear at first glance that the CTA review contains some ...  valid reflections on the true cost of highway transportation which have traditionally not been clearly identified at all levels of government.  ...

 "There is one clause in the report, however, which we immediately viewed as highly contentious and based on extremely dubious rationale.  Recommendation 2(a) in Section 8.3 suggests that the Government of Canada consider the elimination of federal government support for the Toronto-Vancouver passenger rail service, currently provided by VIA's flagship train The Canadian

 "At the same time, the report endorses continued subsidies for remote services, while appearing to ignore the reality that the major contributor to the Canadian's operating deficit is that it runs through some 1500 kilometres of sparsely-populated northern Ontario, making it very much a mandated remote service to communities along the line - while at the same time fulfilling its flagship role as Canada's sole surviving coast-to-coast passenger train.

 "There have been allegations that the Canadian represents unfair taxpayer-supported competition for the privately-owned tour company Rocky Mountaineer.  This is not correct.  The two operations are vastly different.  The Rocky Mountaineer train is an award-winning upscale tourism product, but it does not provide a basic transportation service for Canadians.  Unlike the Canadian, it offers only package tours; it is not possible to purchase an economy-class seat between any two points on its route.  It does not operate on a year-round basis, nor does it run east of the Rockies.

 "While the VIA-operated train offers its own upscale product, it is one quite different from that of Rocky Mountaineer, and furthermore is priced to achieve full cost recovery.  In fact, its revenues help support the basic transportation service that this train also provides in the course of its cross-Canada run.  We believe it is vitally important that these realities be kept in mind, and that any efforts to reduce public expenditures for the Canadian be focused on maximizing revenues and ensuring that it operates in the most cost-effective manner - without compromising the unique experience and excellent service for which it has achieved an outstanding worldwide reputation. ... "

 Transport Action Canada wishes to alert the communities served by the Canadian between Winnipeg to Capreol to this potential threat to access and mobility in Northern Ontario.  They include Minaki, Sioux Lookout, Armstrong, Nakina, Longlac, Hornepayne, Oba, Gogama, and Sudbury Junction. The train provides through travel south to Toronto and west to Winnipeg and Vancouver.

 For further information, please contact Harry Gow, President, Transport Action Canada;

tel.  450-787-3719.

About CAPT

The Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) is a not-for-profit organization comprised of individuals, businesses, First Nations, municipalities and other interests who recognize the significant economic, social, cultural, historical and environmental value of passenger rail servicing and interconnecting the people, businesses and communities of Northern Ontario's Algoma District to each other, Ontario, Canada and the rest of the world. To accomplish this goal, CAPT has been working with local groups to organize events in the community that utilize the railway as a means of advertising and demonstrating its usefulness in the area.

Media Contact

Dr. Linda Savory Gordon

Phone: 705-949-2301, Ext. 4320

Email: linda.savory-gordon@algomau.ca


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