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Agawa Canyon tour train has a new $500-a-seat VIP section

Stone Gardner private car at Sault attraction offering passengers "luxury experience"

Sault Ste. Marie’s Agawa Canyon Tour Train is adding a new premium service car to the popular tourist attraction, aimed at passengers seeking a more luxurious travel experience.

Announced in late June, the Stone Gardner is a private, wood-panelled car with theatre-style seating and capacity for 32 passengers.

Meals and drinks served in the car are being provided by Searchmont Resort, an area skill hill and resort, and passengers have access to a private bathroom.

The new service will be available in time for the upcoming 2024 season.

"We are excited to launch this new level of service for our customers wanting to ride the rails in a private business car,” Wes Logan, the train’s director of operations, in a news release. “The beautiful, hand-crafted Stone Gardner coach will offer a luxury experience to passengers looking for a truly memorable ride to and from the canyon.”

Operating from August to October annually, the tour train takes passengers on a day-long excursion into the Agawa Canyon, north of the Sault, to take in the natural beauty of the area’s landscape.

It includes a 90-minute stop in the canyon where visitors can hike to Bridal Veil Falls, a 225-foot-high waterfall only accessible from the canyon.

The train tour is most in demand through September and October when tree leaves are changing into hues of orange, yellow and red. Visitors travel from around the world to experience it.

This marks the third full year of the train’s operation under the ownership of Pittsburg, KS-headquartered Watco, which purchased the asset, and rail line on which the tour train travels, from former owner CN in the spring of 2021.

Tourism Sault Ste. Marie welcomed news of the update as an opportunity to grow the city’s tourism industry.

“Tourism Sault Ste. Marie is thrilled to see the addition of the Stone Gardner coach. This premier offering will provide passengers with an unrivalled experience of the Agawa Canyon and some of Canada’s most picturesque and iconic landscapes,” Travis Anderson, director of tourism and community development for Sault Ste. Marie, said in the release.

“Attracting over 28,000 passengers annually, the Agawa Canyon Tour Train is a cornerstone of Sault Ste. Marie’s tourism economy and with the addition of the Stone Gardner, we expect to see that number grow.”