What is CAPT?
The Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains is a a regional not-for-profit organization working to get Algoma’s passenger trains back in service.
CAPT is composed of a broad variety of interests, including municipalities, First Nations, tourist resort operators, cottage/camp-owners, recreationists, environmentalists, ACR employees and retirees, community economic development professionals and accessibility groups, particularly along the Algoma rail lines from Hearst to Sault Ste. Marie and Sault Ste. Marie to Sudbury.
The Canadian federal government removed the remote subsidy which funded operating costs for the Algoma Central Railway from Sault Ste. Marie to Hearst.
CAPT has been working alongside Mask-wa Transportation Association Inc. to advocate for alternate funding.
CAPT promotes passenger rail because it provides: efficient access to the Northern Ontario, safe and reliable all season transportation, better health care accessibility, wilderness tourism corridor, connectivity for northern communities and their partnerships, economic diversity and development, and accessible transportation for people with disabilities.
The History of CAPT
Early 2000 – The Algoma Central Railway (ACR) was bought by CN. CN started to make it difficult for passengers to use the train. For example, they changed the passenger train schedule and reduced the number of baggage cars, leaving very little space for snowmobiles. Tourist destination owners, residents living along the rail line and reps from the communities in the rail corridor formed the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT).
Spring, 2006 – CAPT was initiated in the spring of 2006 by those concerned with the deterioration of the Algoma passenger train service. The Coalition was set up by tourist operators, recreationists, environmentalists, municipalities, residents, and First Nations communities along the ACR line, ACR retirees and community economic development professionals. The vision of CAPT was point-to-point ACR passenger train service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst as a wilderness tourism rail corridor to facilitate regional economic and social development and to support and protect the area’s cultural and environmental heritage.
2006 to 2015 – CAPT advocated for improved passenger rail service.
2015 to the present – CAPT continues to advocate for the reinstatement of passenger train service. CAPT organized train events such as the Group of Seven and Glenn Gould Train Events, the Searchmont North Pole Express Events, and has sold calendars. CAPT sent petitions and postcards to federal politicians and has met with representatives of all levels of government.
When Missanabie Cree First Nation (MCFN) took the lead in efforts to restore passenger rail service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst in the form of the Mask-wa Oo-ta-ban (Bear Train), CAPT fully supported and continues to support MCFN’s endeavours.
CAPT is dedicated to establishing an effective and efficient multi-modal transportation strategy for Algoma with connections to the rest of Ontario for both freight and people.
CAPT’s goal is to help establish, preserve, and enhance remote passenger train service in the District of Algoma as well as the adjacent districts around Hearst and Sudbury.
CAPT considers rail to be essential infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions and enable our communities to be resilient as we transition to a post peak oil economy.
CAPT promotes the development of a wilderness, heritage and tourism corridor—an important economic diversification strategy to provide employment in communities formerly reliant on resource-harvesting industries.
History of rail in the region
Learn more about the history of essential transportation by rail