The Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT) and the Mask-Wa Residents Association have created a new on-line letter to Transport Canada, Minister Marc Garneau, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, MP Terry Sheehan and MP Carol Hughes asking for the passenger train service on the Algoma Central Railway to be reinstated right away.
Full text of the letter below
The Algoma passenger train has not been operating for almost a year and has resulted in substantial hardships for residents, businesses and other passengers. Most passengers have no other way to travel to their properties and businesses. 400 km of the 470 km Algoma rail line is not accessible by public road. For the few people who have found alternate ways to access their residences, those alternatives, such as logging roads, are not reliable, safe or year round. People have been injured and/or had their vehicles badly damaged on the logging roads. Logging roads are only maintained when and if logging companies need them. The Algoma passenger train has been the only safe, affordable, all-season access into the Algoma wilderness rail corridor for over 100 years.
Given that the mission of Transport Canada is: “to serve the public interest through the promotion of a safe and secure, efficient and environmentally responsible transportation system in Canada”; we ask that the Algoma passenger train be put back in service right away.
We have been patient with the process, but we have suffered substantial losses to the local economy and employment as a result of the cancellation of the passenger train service last year, as well as loss of safe, reliable access to our residences, businesses and recreation. We question why the Algoma passenger train service has been allowed to lapse for almost a year given the social, economic, employment and tax generation values it supports as shown in the BDO Canada report of 2015. Also, why has the process of resuming service taken so long?
Due to further economic downturns in Algoma district, we cannot afford this loss of train-related employment, economic impact and lack of safe, reliable access to continue. We understand the Missanabie Cree First Nation has developed a proposal to operate the Algoma Passenger Train. It is urgent that service be restored NOW.