Join us in celebrating 100 years of the ACR Passenger Train on May 31 – June 1

 Media Release

The Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) has organized a celebratory event to mark the 100th birthday of the Algoma Central passenger train Saturday May 31 – Sunday June 1.

 

100 years ago, passenger train service was completed all the way from Sault Ste. Marie to Hearst. Although originally constructed to provide freight services for steel production and logging, the Algoma Central Railway included the passenger train service to bring more residents and tourists to the region.  It was built through the extremely challenging terrain of the Cambrian Shield, crossing two watersheds with rivers emptying in both Lake Superior and James Bay and two forest regions—the ‘Great Lakes–St. Lawrence Forest Region’ and the ‘Boreal Forest Region’—offering riders access to spectacular topography. Among some of the most famous passengers to experience the breath-taking scenery were Group of Seven artists who took the train from 1918 to 1924 to paint some of their most significant works. Since then many other travellers have relied on the passenger train to take them from community to community, to places of employment and educational institutions, to health care appointments, to trap-lines and to tourist destinations—in all weather and conditions.

For the past 100 years this train has been an essential means of transporting people.  During the next 100 years, it will become even more important.  As oil becomes increasingly unaffordable, as carbon emissions urgently need to be reduced to reverse climate change, as demand for eco-cultural tourism in remote settings continues to rise, we will need the ACR passenger train more and more.

This a great opportunity to see firsthand the many types of people who use this gem of a train– people going to and from tourist lodges, trap lines, canoe routes, cycling routes, camps, other communities, First Nation traditional territories, Lake Superior Provincial Park, the Chapleau Game Preserve and rock climbing opportunities.

Passengers will enjoy the wonderful live music that Britta Wolfert, Jeff Hinich and Glad & Steve Hawkins perform on the train.  They will hear and share ACR train stories and just relax and watch the spring landscape from the comfort of the train coaches.

Most of the seats are already sold, so people should avoid disappointment by purchasing  tickets ASAP in person at the ACR Station in the Station Mall parking lot or by phone with a VISA or MasterCard payment at 705 945 7300 or 800 242 9287.

Those who plan to go to Hearst, should book a room at a hotel there. The Companion and the Queen’s Motels are both offering special rates for those taking part in the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Train Event.

If you wish to order a takeout lunch from the Big Bear Restaurant in Hawk Junction, or want more information, please call Linda Savory Gordon at 705 949 2301 ext 4320.

The passenger train departs from the ACR rail yard located at 429 Carmen’s Way (just south of Wellington) at 9:20 am, but arrive early enough to board and settle in for a great experience!!

Media are invited to ride the train or to join us for interviews at the rail yard prior to departure from 8:45 to 9:10 a.m.  ACR supporters who will not be riding the train that day are also invited to join us at the yard to see us off!

ALL ABOARD!!!!!!!

Contact: Linda Savory Gordon  705 949 2301 ex 4320; linda.savory-gordon@algomau.ca

Media Releases

Canada’s most scenic rail trips aren’t just in B.C., you Know | The Globe and Mail

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/travel/activities-and-interests/canadas-most-scenic-rail-trips-arent-just-in-bc-you-know/article18394048/

Maritime mayors smiling as Ottawa ponies up for rail repairs – The Globe and Mail

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/travel/activities-and-interests/canadas-most-scenic-rail-trips-arent-just-in-bc-you-know/article18394048/

ACR Passenger Service Celebrates 100 Years.

http://www.saultthisweek.com/2014/05/13/capt-invites-all-to-acr-centenary-event

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Celebrate 100 years of Passenger Train Service

  1. Train Event to mark the 100th Anniversary of ACR passenger train and to look forward to the next 100 years
  2. Need a volunteer with experience doing raffles
  3. Latest media stories
  4. Searchmont Station
  5.  

Train Event to mark the 100th Anniversary of ACR passenger train and to look forward to the next 100 years

Planning is going very well for the up-coming media event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ACR passenger train.  Please join us on Saturday, May 31st going northbound and southbound on Sunday, June 1st.  Britta Wolfert, Jeff Hinich and Glad and Steve Hawkins will put us in a celebratory mood by performing their music while we look out our train windows at the breath-taking Algoma landscape.   You will see first-hand the many different reasons why people use the ACR passenger train. You may see tourists, lodge owners, trappers, campers, First Nation reps, municipal delegates, getting on or off the train and telling us why this service is essential to them.  Those who go as far as Hearst will enjoy the warm hospitality of that primarily franco-Ontarian town.  Don’t be disappointed—purchase your train tickets while there is still space. The Companion Hotel and the Queen’s Motel in Hearst are both offering a corporate rate, so if you call to book a room mention that you are with the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains and wish to have the corporate rate.

For more information, contact Linda Savory Gordon at 705 949 2301 ext 4320 or linda.savory-gordon@algomau.ca.  and if you want to order a take-out lunch from the Big Bear at Hawk Junction please leave your name with Linda.

We need a volunteer with experience doing raffles

CAPT needs help in doing a raffle.  If you know how to do raffles and would like to help us out, please contact Al Errington at al@wildernessisland.com.

 

Searchmont Station Restoration

This is a message from Nathan Brown: “For years the station at Searchmont has been vacant, and left to slowly rot away.  This station is the only station left on the ACR from the early days when it was built in 1902.  The station was modified in an update in 1945.  It was later closed and left abandoned.  But there is hope yet.  As the only station with the longest history, it is very important to save this part of ACR and railway history.  The Searchmont Station Preservation & Historical Society was created for this reason.CN will be selling the station to our group.  We are currently trying to raise the funds to restore this station.  The station will be fully functional, will have onsite people living there, and will be rebuilt to its original plan that was used in 1902.  This contained a circular waiting room to the South of the station and a extended freight section to the North.  Our hope is to have the project completed by 2020.  We are being told that the station may need to be moved, so we are unsure of the funds required right now for the move, but are raising funds to rebuild the station.  We are also seeking a few people to be on the board of directors as well.  If you can help us out in anyway be donating, or sponsoring us it would be very much appreciated.  You can reach us at the information below. Please support Searchmont Station by buying a railroad tie… http://www.searchmontstation.com/donate.html . Searchmont Station Preservation & Historical SocietyEmail: searchmontstation@gmail.comWebsite: http://www.searchmontstation.comFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/SearchmontStation Mailing information: Searchmont Station Preservation & Historical Societyc/o Nathan BrownPO BOX 2134Cochrane, OntarioP0L1C0     Phone: 705-272-8780 » 

Latest Media Stories

$10M to repair New Brunswick rail line
http://www.sootoday.com/content/news/national/details.asp?c=72986

Lake FX | Sault Star
http://www.saultstar.com/2014/04/23/all-aboard-acrs-rich-heritage-can-help-keep-it-realhttp://www.saultstar.com/2014/04/23/all-aboard-acrs-rich-heritage-can-help-keep-it-real

ONTC deal with KWG Resources could be huge for Timmins | Q92
http://www.q92timmins.com/2014/04/24/ontc-deal-with-kwg-resources-could-be-huge-for-timmins/

 

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Celebrate 100 years of ACR Passenger Train Service

Event to Celebrate 100 years of ACR Passenger Train: and Look Forward to the next 100! May 31 – June 1

 

CAPT invites everyone to join in a celebration of 100 years of the ACR Passenger Train by taking the train north on May 31 and south on June 1st.
There are lots of ways that you can participate.
  • Go to a:
  • lodge
  •  camp
  • to one of the communities
  • or all the way to Hearst.
We invite cyclists to take their bicycles on the train to Searchmont and cycle back to the Sault.
 Some of us will be going all the way to Hearst where we plan to have a Franco-Ontarian supper at the Companion Hotel.
We will be entertained by musicians during the trip as well as hearing lots of stories told by former ACR employees and seasoned passengers.  This will be a great opportunity for media reporters to see first hand the many purposes that this gem of a train serves—from trappers to tourist operators to camp owners and recreationists.
 So pass the word around and encourage as many people as possible to take part in this chance to celebrate the past 100 years and look forward to the next 100 years of the ACR passenger train.
Anyone planning to stay overnight in Hearst on May 31 should book a room at one of the hotels.  If you plan to be on the train when we arrive at Hawk Junction on the 31st, and you would like to have a lunch delivered by the Black Bear restaurant to the train, please leave your name with Linda Savory Gordon at 705 949 2301 ext 4320 or by emai: linda.savory-gordon@algomau.ca.
Recent news coverage:

New Democrats commit to improving transportation in the North
http://www.wawa-news.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=20212:new-democrats-commit-to-improving-transportation-in-the-north&catid=118:district-news&Itemid=78

ACR has tremendous economic impact, study conclude | Sault Star

http://www.saultstar.com/2014/04/17/acr-has-tremendous-economic-impact-study-concludes

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BDO’s Economic Impact Assessment

Draft of BDO Economic Impact Assessment of ACR Passenger Service and request for comments/suggestions

On April 17th at a meeting of ACR Stakeholders, BDO presented the executive summary of the  Final Draft of its Economic Impact Assessment of ACR Passenger Service.  You can see the full draft report and the executive summary on the stakeholders’ website: www.algomapassengerrail.com. The stakeholder working group asks you to provide your comments/suggestions in regards to the two documents, by Friday, April 30th 2014.  Since the two documents can be found on the website: www.algomapassengerrail.com,  please feel free to share with others who may be interested. Also, we encourage you to provide your feedback on alternatives for long-term solutions for the ACR Passenger Rail Service.
Suggestions may be sent to Angela Bruni, assistant to the CEO of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation( 99 Foster Drive Sault Ste. Marie, ON  P6A 5X6 705-759-5432 a.bruni@ssmedc.ca )  and please copy to info@captrains.ca.

Celebrate 100th  Birthday of ACR Passenger Train: Looking Forward to the Next 100 Years

CAPT is organizing a media train event on May 31-June 1 to celebrate the 100th birthday of the ACR Passenger Train service which first went all of the way from the Sault to Hearst in 1914.  We will provide more details shortly, but this “heads-up” is to let you know the dates so you can plan to take part.  We invite as many people as possible to ride the rails to their camps, to lodges, to their trap-lines or to other communities along the line to Hearst. There will be excellent musicians onboard to entertain us as well as seasoned travelers who will tell us their train stories.  Hopefully some of you who are cyclists will take the train to Searchmont and cycle back to the Sault.  We have invited reporters to travel with us so that they can see many of the ways in which the train services all kinds of destinations and activities along the line.  Those who are going to Hearst will have the opportunity of eating a delicious franco-Ontarian supper before their overnight stay and return trip the next morning.  Join us on the train for both a fun ride as well as an opportunity to show the media and policy-makers how special this service is to our region.

Here are two recent media articles:

$2.2-million investment nets $48-million return on ACR, says report

http://www.sootoday.com/content/news/details.asp?c=71797

ACR has tremendous economic impact, study conclude | Sault Star

http://www.saultstar.com/2014/04/17/acr-has-tremendous-economic-impact-study-concludes

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update

  1. Public Stakeholders’      Meeting:  Thurs. April 17 at 1:00 pm (tomorrow)
  2. Change of date for 100th      year anniversary Celebration Train Event
  3. Latest media stories
  1. Public Stakeholders’ Meeting:      Thurs. April 17th at 1:00 pm (tomorrow)
    Everyone is invited to attend the public stakeholders’ meeting where a      presentation will be made about the BDO Economic Impact Analysis of the      Passenger Service.
    The meeting will be in the Russ Ramsay Room of the Sault Ste. Marie Civic      Centre.
  2. Change of date for 100th      year anniversary Celebration Train Event
    The media train event originally tentatively planned for April 28 & 29th      will be held later to give us more time to plan it and hopefully by then      there will be some bright green leaves on the trees! It promises to be a      wonderful opportunity for us to take the train to various destinations      along the beautiful ACR corridor to celebrate the 100th      anniversary of the passenger service between the Sault and Hearst and to      look forward to the plans to ensure it continues for the next 100      years.  As soon as the date is confirmed we will let you know.
  3. Latest media stories

CTV video clip of Miniter Raitt’s announcement in Sault Ste. Marie
http://northernontario.ctvnews.ca/
on the right hand side you will see a list of videos. The story is on the 5th page of those items.

Government of Canada extends federal subsidy for the Algoma Central Railway passenger rail service – Service extended until March 2015  
http://www.wawa-news.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=20151:government-of-canada-extends-federal-subsidy-for-the-algoma-central-railway-passenger-rail-service-service-extended-until-march-2015&catid=41:news&Itemid=201

Find ‘solutions outside government’- Raitt
http://www.saultstar.com/2014/04/14/22-million-federal-subsidy-for-acr-passenger-rail-service-extended-minister-tells-stakeholders-ball-now-in-their-court

ACR on the rails for another year
http://www.local2.ca/ssm/viewarticle.php?id=14820&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Feds created an ‘unnecessary crisis’ says Hughes
http://www.sootoday.com/content/news/details.asp?c=71634

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update

1.     This morning at 11:30, Federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt was in Sault Ste. Marie to announce that the federal government has agreed to extend its subsidy to CN that will ensure the operation of the Algoma Central Railway passenger train until March 2015. The Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains would like to thank its supporters for their assistance in helping to remind the federal government of the necessity of the ACR in Northern Ontario.

For more information please follow the links below:

Raitt urges private-sector solution to ACR issue
http://www.sootoday.com/content/news/details.asp?c=71625

Federal subsidy restored for ACR (live video)
http://www.sootoday.com/content/news/details.asp?c=71619

ACR on the rails for another year
http://www.local2.ca/ssm/viewarticle.php?id=14820

$2.2-million federal subsidy to CN expires March 31, 2015
http://www.saultstar.com/2014/04/14/22-million-federal-subsidy-to-cn-expires-march-31-2014

2.)
Everyone is invited to attend the ACR stakeholders’ meeting on Thurs April 17 at 1:00 pm in the Russ Ramsey room of the Sault Ste. Marie Civic Centre. This will be a meeting open to the public to see the report of the ACR passenger train economic impact analysis completed by BDO.

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Letter from Northeast Superior Chiefs; Letter to The Hill Times and reminder about NIGHT TRAIN Apr 9

CONTENT :

  1. Letter from Northeast Superior      Regional Chiefs’ Forum (NSRCF)
  2. Letter to the editor, The Hill Times (paper read by politicians and      civil servants on Parliament Hill, Ottawa)
  3. Reminder: NIGHT TRAIN       Wed. April 9, 8:00 pm Water Tower Pub, train music performed by local      musicians to support ACR passenger train service

1.)

letter2.) Don’t cancel passenger service on Algoma Central Railway

Published in the Hill Times: Monday, 04/07/2014 12:00 am EDT

hilltimes_logo

 

As you have probably heard or read, a string of remote communities, tourism businesses, and property owners will be left with no transportation if Transport Canada’s decision to stop funding the Algoma Central Railway as of March 31 is not reversed. CN has indicated service will subsequently cease a month later, on April 29. We understand the challenge the Canadian government faces as it tries to balance its books, but we believe that Transport Canada officials were probably not sensitized to the unique and crucial concerns inherent with discontinued passenger railway service on the line.
Of critical importance, there are no publicly-maintained roads into most of the more than 56 stops on the 476-km rail line from Sault Ste. Marie to Hearst. A quick review of an official Ontario roadmap will attest to that. In addition, ending the Algoma Central Railway passenger service would take away the livelihoods of many tourist operators whose customers can only travel to their lodges by train; trappers who manage their trap lines by train; and fishing, canoeing, rock and ice-climbing outfitters who bring their customers into the area by train.
The $2.2-million of federal funding under the Regional and Remote Passenger Rail Services Class Contribution Program to CN for the line’s continued operation is a very small amount compared to the many millions of dollars in economic impacts that result from it.
Cindy Lebrun, of Tatnall Camp, is extremely concerned.  “Our family’s 40 year business, accessible only by the ACR train, would be inoperable with only two months notice.”  She adds, “cancelling the Algoma passenger train will be calamitous for all of the tourism businesses, cottagers, communities, recreationists, trappers and commuters that depend on this service, especially given the extremely short notice.”
Ending the passenger train will dramatically and adversely affect the efforts of First Nations and municipalities to expand their tourism industries. This is the rail line used by the Group of Seven artists in the early 1900s to create some of their most significant and celebrated work—a real draw for the expanding market of cultural tourists.
We strongly urge Transport Minister Lisa Raitt and the Government of Canada to reverse its decision to cut funding to CN for the line’s continued passenger service until appropriate assessments and options have been explored and documented.
Besides the obvious loss of millions of dollars in revenue, tourist and lost employment opportunities, a discontinued passenger rail service will inflict a devastating blow to the culture, life and appeal of the internationally known Algoma Central Railway operating through one of the world’s most charming and virtually unspoiled natural areas.
Al Errington and Marie Price, Co-chairs, Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains, Algoma, Ont.

3.) Reminder: NIGHT TRAIN  Wed. April 9, 8:00 pm Water Tower Pub, train music performed by local musicians to support ACR passenger train service

Rusty McCarthy has generously organized what promises to be a wonderful evening of music about trains performed by several local musicians at the Water Tower Pub to show support for our efforts to keep the ACR passenger trains rolling down the track.  Please pass the word around to your contacts, share on Facebook and other social media. See you there!

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Updates, Night Train reminder, Media items and reduced calendar price

. Working Group Update
2. Reminder : Night Train
3. Media items
4. Reduced CAPT calendar price

1. ACR Working Group Update
-BDO is close to completion of its economic impact analysis. Bravo to so many of you who filled out the survey for the study.  There was an excellent participation rate.
– Letters for a meeting with Minister Lisa Raitt continue to be sent to her.

2. Reminder: Night Train:… Wed. April 9 at 8:00 pm Water Tower Pub, Sault Ste Marie
Please pass the word around to your contacts to attend the special benefit evening of train music to support our efforts to save the ACR passenger train.

3. MEDIA:
• Time to build rails again at Essar Steel Algoma
http://www.saultthisweek.com/2014/04/01/time-to-build-rails-again-at-essar-steel-Algoma
• Carol Hughes Discusses ACR in the House of Commons, 41st Parliament, 2nd Session, Tuesday, April 1, 2014 (Refer to Adjournment Proceedings)http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=41&Ses=2&DocId=6499461
• Climate Change a threat to security, food and humankind- IPCC report http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/31/climate-change-threat-food-security-humankind
• UN report on climate change rings alarm on warming polar regions http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2014/03/30/un_report_on_climate_change_rings_alarm_on_warming_polar_regions.html

4.  Reduced 2014 CAPT calendar price: $5
Since we are into April, the 2014, the 2014 calendars are now $5.  They are still for sale at the Art Gallery of Algoma and Shabby Motley 356 Queen Street East. Sault Ste Marie. P6A1Z1. Tel: 705-575-9276 or we can mail them to you and you can send us a cheque. Cheques can be made payable to Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains.  Mailed to:
Linda Savory Gordon
Algoma University
1520 Queen Street East
Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 2G4

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e-mail addresses for saving the train letters

Addresses for e-mails to send about Saving the train.

L “Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt”lisa.raitt@parl.gc.ca.
Please cc: your letters to the following:
“Prime Minister Stephen Harper,” stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca
“Mr. Bryan Hayes, MP Sault Ste. Marie” bryan.hayes@parl.gc.ca
“Ms. Carol Hughes, MP Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing” carol.hughes@parl.gc.ca
“SSM Economic Development Corporation” info@ssmedc.ca
“SSM Chamber of Commerce Ontario” info@ssmcoc.com
“Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains” info@captrains.ca
Visit the website www.algomapasssengerrail.comisa Raitt, Carol Hughes, Bryan Hayes and info @captrains.

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Survey reminder, Searchmont Resort’s letter, Article by Doug Millroy, Sault Star

Content:

1.     Survey reminder

2.     Searchmont’s letter requesting government to reverse cancellation of passenger train service

3.     Article in Sault Star by Doug Millroy

1.     Survey reminder:

This is a reminder to fill out the ACR Passenger service working Group & BCO survey by clicking on this link:https://0370ac8.netsolhost.com/algomapassengerrail/ACRPTSurvey.php .

or on Survey on Home Page Menu above

If you wish, you are most welcome to attend the workshop set up to help people fill out the survey tomorrow—Wednesday, March 19 any time from 5:00 to 8:00 pm at the Civic Centre in the Economic Development Corporation offices on the first floor.  There will be people to answer your questions and help you either fill out paper copies of the survey or do it electronically.  You can also just discuss it with the others present and complete yours at home.

2.      Here is a Searchmont Resort’s letter requesting the government to reverse its decision to cancel the passenger train service.

Searchmont logo.jpg

 

February 21, 2014

 Bryan Hayes, MP Sault Ste. Marie

Carol Hughes, MP Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing

 Dear Mr. Hayes and Ms Hughes:

 On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Searchmont Ski Association Inc. (SSAI), I am writing regarding the recent decision of the Federal Government to end the subsidy for the CN passenger train service of the Algoma Central Railway (ACR) from Sault Ste. Marie to Hearst. We ask that you work to postpone the decision to cut passenger service for a minimum of one year while stakeholders develop a long term solution to maintain the passenger rail link.

 SSAI is a not-for-profit organization that owns and operates Searchmont Resort, a premiere ranked, regional training and recreation facility with high quality mountain terrain, amenities, events and entertainment.

 

The passenger rail service provides Sault Ste. Marie and area residents and tourists an important means of transportation to Searchmont Resort.

 Over the past seven years, Searchmont has partnered with the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains on special events such as the Group of Seven Tour and the Searchmont Polar Express. These types of events rely on the operation of the passenger train. Due to the overwhelming response of the inaugural Searchmont Polar Express in December 2013, the demand for themed train events is apparent and can be an important part of Searchmont’s continued outreach to the community.

 Sincerely,

Gilles Labelle

Corporate Secretary
Searchmont Ski Association Inc.

3. Recent article about the ACR cancellation by Doug Millroy of the Sault Star:

http://www.saultstar.com/2014/03/08/rail-get-cut-while-govt-wastes-cash-millroy

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