It’s been three long years now since there was passenger train service on the Algoma Central Railway (CN) between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst.
Businesses – hotels, motels, restaurants, lodges and the retail sector – in the region have suffered losses.
BDO Canada reported in an economic impact statement in 2014 that the total impact associated with the ACR is in the realm of $38 to $48 million dollars. Many lodges have seen as much as a 40% drop in clientele because there is no rail access and float plane access is not a preferred option.
But in addition to the economic impacts, there is the fact that many owners cannot access their properties without rail service. Not to mention many seniors, retirees or those with disabilities cannot or do not want to drive or fly.
Al Errington has been impacted. His resort on Lake Wabatongushi has been in his family since 1975, and has always relied on rail to transport guests to and from the location.