Among the damage, CN Rail’s bridge over the Root River was washed away, temporarily suspending the train tour. With crews working 24 hours a day to repair the span, officials are optimistic that the line will be up and running by Sept. 24.
“The area tourism industry appreciates the non-stop effort from CN Rail and its workers,” said Ian McMillan, executive director of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, a division of the Economic Development Corporation, in a news release. “With their hard work, we’re hopeful that we can salvage the most important three weeks of the train tour season.”
Fall is the busiest time of year for the Agawa Canyon train tour, one of Sault Ste. Marie’s primary tourist attractions, which draws visitors from Ontario, the U.S. and around the world to see the changing leaves of the fall season. Being a full-day excursion, travellers generally spend two nights in the city, where they also spend money on dining, shopping, entertainment and other activities.
“The train tour causes a ripple effect in our community,” McMillan said. “The attraction brings in visitors, who inject hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy. CN Rail understands the importance this has on Sault Ste. Marie, and its crews are working tirelessly to get the line back in operation.