Ross Capon, president of the Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Railroad Passengers, fired off a letter to Gary Doer, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S, on CN’s decision to axe the service.
“The adverse economic impact on those communities would be significant,” said Capon in a Jan. 31 statement. “Many of the communities along the line do not have public roads, as well as many businesses which are significant draws for U.S. tourists.”
The passenger run on the Algoma Central branch will be discontinued on April 1.
CN blames the federal government and Transport Canada for discontinuing a remote passenger rail subsidy that had been place since 1977.
In the Maritimes, CN is planning to cut all operations on a 70-kilometre stretch of line in northern New Brunswick that used by VIA’s Quebec City-to-Halifax run. It’s that region’s only passenger service.
“Eliminating passenger trains serving small communities and giving tourists and residents environmentally friendly access to Canada’s natural beauty is at odds with the achievements that have earned your nation great respect in the United States,” said Capon. “Such good will has a real value to Canada, which should be weighed carefully when considering whether to abandon the world’s most environmentally sustainable mode of transportation.”