All Aboard!

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Joe Fratesi, Chair, Algoma Central Railway Passenger Service Working Group, on behalf of the Working Group, would like to express delight at the Government of Canada’s approval-in-principal of funding to support operating expenditures for the passenger rail service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst, Ontario for three years beginning April 1, 2015.

The funding over the three years will be provided on a declining basis ($2,200,000 in 2015/16, $1,725,000 in 2016/17 and $1,358,000 in 2017/18). It is understood that the Remote Passenger Rail Program from which this funding is being announced has allocations over the next three years only and the continuation of the Program (which is important to other remote rail operations as well) will be reviewed by the Federal Government prior to March 31, 2018.

As a result of this commitment by the Government of Canada arrangements have been made with CN, Transport Canada and Railmark Canada that the ACR passenger rail service will continue to operate as all parties work towards the transition of operations from CN to Railmark Canada.

As Chair of the Working Group, I cannot express enough the hard work that went into this project from not only the members of the Working Group but officials of CN, Transport Canada and Railmark Canada. Also, special thanks to Sault Ste. Marie’s own Bryan Hayes, M.P. who was instrumental in obtaining the internal approvals required for this initiative to move forward and Carol Hughes, M.P. who was most helpful in advocating on our behalf.

“Our collective success would not have been possible without everyone working together.”