Who else does cancelling the ACR Passenger Services affect?

Algoma Central Railway

As mentioned in a previous story, I’ve actually been taking the time to read the comments left from those signing the Online Petition to Save the ACR Passenger Service from Sault Ste. Marie to Hearst. For me, it’s quite unsettling to see who and how far reaching the decision to cancel this service is affecting.

Has this decision inadvertently sent out a message that some parts of Northern Ontario are, for a lack of a better term, “No Longer Open for Business”. Although our initial thoughts may be that of “How are we going to get to our favourite fishing hole?” or “How am I going to continue to enjoy the camp my family worked so hard to build over generations?, it’s hard to grasp just how far reaching this has gone.

The following are just a few of the comments left to date from people signing the online petition. One would expect to see support from our close neighbours in Michigan but there’s support from various other States and Provinces… even as far away as the United Kingdom, Italy, India, Federated States of Micronesia, Netherlands Antilles, Uruguay, Switzerland and Japan:

Ms. Esther Young, AB | Mar 06, 17:57 | # 770
Please keep this Passenger Train running…It is the only way I can go to my Family’s Lodge when I visit, and enjoy the wonderful fishing, sightseeing, and getting back to Nature!

Ms. Bridget Hoffman, CA | Mar 05, 05:48 | # 740
You do not seem to realize what an asset this train is to the country. It quietly advertises the beauty of the north and the majesty of the land, as well as provides transportation for so many.

Mr. Gary Powers, MI | Mar 04, 20:06 | # 729
The train is the only access to the lodge we have been enjoying for the last 40 years.

Mr. RONALD THELANDER, MI | Mar 04, 13:00 | # 710

Mr. Paul Deisinger, AZ | Mar 04, 09:32 | # 701
This train is a very important part of my childhood memories and continues to be one of THE BEST memory makers for thousands of people who enjoy living and recreating in this area of Canada. Closing this down would be a tragedy on many different levels!

Dr. Lawrence Crane, MI | Mar 04, 06:47 | # 685
For me, this train has taken me for the past 40 years to a rare place where heaven and earth meet.

Mr. Patrick McCreary, IL | Mar 04, 06:08 | # 681
There are millions of dollars wasted on congressional pet projects, defense overruns, and other poorly monitored subsidies. This is a major quality of life impact for a minuscule investment. If we indeed desire to get the best use out of our taxpayer investment, this should be a major factor in decision making. Lets start with this.

Mr. Kevin Sagasser, FM | Feb 24, 05:04 | # 526
It is entirely short-sightedness to discontinue a treasure that provides destination tourism and access to the Ontario wilderness. Our family has owned a cottage along the ACR since the 1950’s and we make several trips into the Soo every year wherein we spend hundreds of dollars on everything from food, licenses, gear, fuel, supplies and even trinkets for the kids to remember their Canadian vacations to our cottage. Instead of killing a true gem for tourism and economic growth, it would seem appropriate to promote and expand the service in order to increase the ancillary spending and economic benefit to the region. Here in northern lower Michigan, over $25 million is spent just on advertising to promote tourism to support our local economy, yet it pales in comparison to the experience of vacationing in Ontario via the ACR passenger train.

Mr. Barry Brower, WA | Feb 23, 08:51 | # 496
The train is the only means we have to access our property at Trout Lake, Mile 57. By saving a relatively small budgetary amount you are squandering employment, tourism revenue, property values, and tax revenue. Penny wise, pound foolish!

Ms. Terry Zelenka, MI | Feb 21, 16:28 | # 481
Since the late 1940’s four generations of friends and families have enjoyed all that our wonderful lake camp at Mile 57 has had to offer. We’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars in Canada during those vacations. The passenger train is the only means of access to our camp for us. I’m sure this tale and these facts could be repeated by many, many folks along the rails from the Soo to Hearst. Please reconsider this short-sighted decision that would bring great economic loss to the region and end a way of life that has brought such joy to so many.

Mr. GARY BARRINGER, MI | Feb 17, 19:26 | # 407
My family has owned land and a small cabin on a lake accessible only by the Algoma Central Rail for over 60 years. We built the cabin ourselves. It isn’t much but it is our family’s pride and joy. We appreciate and depend on the ACR today as we have since the 1950’s. We have seen fares and rates skyrocket in the past 20 years but we gladly pay for this critical service as do thousands of others. Some form of passenger service along the Algoma Central Railway is crucial to the region.

To read all the comments, simply scroll down after signing the petition (if you haven’t done so already).