For the first time in almost two years, the Agawa Tour Train left Sault Ste. Marie loaded with tourists, and city officials weren’t present.
The city of Sault Ste. Marie tourism page promotes the train as part of a multi-faceted attempt to bring much needed tourists dollars to the City. They used to have a contract with CN to bring the train in each year, however that contract has lapsed.
When CN agreed to provide the train this year, it was met with excitement by staff inside city hall. Yet, when the moment arrived, no high-level official was present to welcome visitors to the city, a fact that was noted by more than one train passenger.
The train will bring in approximately 6,000 tourists to the city this year.
In speaking with tourists and operators alike, all indicated that none had been greeted by anyone from the City of Sault Ste. Marie, not to welcome them to our city nor to tell them of the other attractions that they could take in while they are here.
One family of 13 had made the 7+ hour trek from Toronto by car. They were excited to see all the Fall colours that Northern Ontario had to offer. They enthusiastically asked us which side of the train they should sit on for the best pictures (we said every side). One individual from the group said this was the first time some of them had been to Sault Ste. Marie and they were happy to head out on the train.
Another individual who was joining the train tour on Sunday, brought our attention to the garbage plainly visible beside the tracks. Once the cars had cleared, plainly visible on the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s property, was a garbage pile of clothes and debris.
Sunday morning’s train, loaded with nearly 400 people due to COVID restrictions, left the station at 8:07 a.m. It was scheduled to arrive back in town around dinner time, where many of the visitors were anticipated to pour into our city looking for food and accommodations before heading back to their respective hometowns.
The tour train, which had previously acknowledged a shortened season, is sold out for this year and although the city’s contract with CN has lapsed, there is hope the train will continue to offer trips into the colours for years to come.
Stay with SaultOnline/ONNtv as we continue to highlight tourist attractions in the City of Sault Ste. Marie and surrounding area.