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CN to sell Algoma Central Railway: report

Process 'is ongoing,' CN states of sale status
Algoma Central Railway file photo. (Kenneth Armstrong/SooToday)

CN Rail has confirmed it intends to sell the Algoma Central Railway (ACR) that runs between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst.

The Manitoulin Expositor is reporting that CN has confirmed it has initiated the process of selling that line. A spokesperson for CN tells the Expositor that interested parties have been contactes and the process "is ongoing."

It is unclear at this time what a sale would mean for the Agawa Canyon Tour Train, a tourist attraction that runs seasonally bewteen Sault Ste. Marie and the Agawa Canyon.

SooToday has reached out to CN for comment and will update this story when more information is available.

This comes as part of CN's plan to sell "certain non-core lines in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ontario," which was announced at an investors' meeting this past summer.

CN has not run any freight traffic on the southern half of the line since mid-April, the Expositor reports. It is now running freight only between Hawk Junction and Hearst.

The passenger train between the Sault and Hearst has not run since July 2015. The Missanabie Cree First Nation has taken the lead in attempt to renew passenger rail service along the ACR, and has been in negotiations with CN Rail and Transport Canada since 2017.

The province just invested $5 million last year on construction of a new train station for the Agawa Canyon Tour Train at the former St. Marys Paper site, near The Machine Shop. The building is currently still under construction, but will house a ticket office, departure lounge, exhibit area, and a gift shop.

– SooToday