A letter from Railmark Canada Limited concerning the ACR passenger train
For 101 years the ACR Passenger Train operated from Sault Ste Marie to Hearst, Ontario. In the last 20 years or so it was subsidized by the Canadian taxpayer. In 2014, Transport Canada gave the community one year to find a solution and Railmark Canada Limited was chosen by a legal RFP process by the community of Sault Ste Marie and then approved by CN. Railmark purchased the passenger train franchise from CN and obtained all necessary certifications and qualifications, then achieved operating status where it ran the ACR Passenger Train, renamed the ALgoma Spirit Passenger Train, until July 18th because the Sault Ste Marie government through the Economic Development Corporation would not work with Railmark to finalize and execute a Reimbursement Agreement on funding provided by Transport Canada during the Harper Administration.
The EDC went through another RFP process and all three candidates could not pass the standards of operations from CN as Railmark had. Now industry and businesses could fail if the train is not started soon, hopefully by mid-May. Railmark still has all of its certifications and is the quickest solution to resuming train service. Additionally Railmark has a plan with this train to significantly increase ridership, tourism and this the economy and employment. But there are forces that want to run the train the way its always been and that’s not fair to the Canadian taxpayer. Railmark’s plan drives the train operation to financial sustainability in five years to an average ridership of 60,000 per year at the end of the development plan.
For more on Railmark and why that company should be re-considered, go to wawa-news.com