Published on: 1/28/2014 2:07:20 PM Print | Font Sizes:  Normal Text Large Text

CN to cut passenger service to Hearst


By: Northern Ontario Business staff

Canadian National Railway (CN) is cutting passenger service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst.
Canadian National Railway (CN) is cutting passenger service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst.

Canadian National Railway (CN) is cutting passenger service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst.

The rail carrier blames Ottawa for cutting a subsidy needed to keep the service operating. The service will no longer operate after March 30.

“This financial support is essential to CN’s operation of the line,” said a CN statement.

The railway is referring media questions to Transport Canada.

“We have no further comments,” said CN spokesperson Lindsay Fedchyshyn, “this was a federal decision.”

CN purchased the former Algoma Central Railway from Wisconsin Central in 2001.

Last fall, CN announced it was cancelling the Agawa Canyon Tour Snow Train which uses the same line up to Hearst.

The passenger service, which runs three days a week, provides year-round access to remote tourist camps and resorts.

A 2007 study by Malone Givens Parsons prepared for the Coalition of Algoma Passenger Trains, pegged the average annual ridership at 10,600 passengers.

Beginning with the former Algoma Central Railway, the service has always been deemed financially uneconomic to operate and relies heavily on federal government subsidies. It was once deemed by the Canadian Transportation Agency as an essential service.

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