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Maintain passenger rail service, says US organization

Friday, January 31, 2014   by: SooToday.com Staff
NEWS RELEASE
 
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF
RAILROAD PASSENGERS
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Washington, D.C. - Today the National Association of Railroad Passengers sent a concerned letter to the Honourable Gary Albert Doer, Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, in response to the January 24 announcement that Sault Ste. Marie-Hearst service will end March 31 and a CBC report this week that Montreal-Halifax service could end in as early as June.
 
To the Honourable Gary Albert Doer, Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, in response to the January 24 announcement that Sault Ste. Marie-Hearst service will end March 31 and a CBC report this week that Montreal-Halifax service could end in as early as June.
 
Under current plans, this passenger train will make its final run on March 31, 2014. 
 
After this date the government subsidy which had directly funded its operation will end. 
 
The decision to discontinue the train was a result of Transport Canada redefining the term “remote community” and determining that the route between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst no longer qualified as such.
 
According to NARP President Ross Capon, “a decision to kill this service was made absent consultation with the affected communities.  
 
The adverse economic impact on those communities would be significant.  
 
Many of the communities along the line do not have public roads, as well as many businesses which are significant draws for U.S. tourists.”    
 
Likewise, passenger service between Montreal and the Maritimes – an important intercity run and the only passenger train in the Maritimes – is also in danger of being discontinued. 
 
On January 28, CBC reported that the service could be canceled unless CN finds an investor to buy a track segment in northern New Brunswick.
 
Capon concluded, “Eliminating passenger trains serving small communities and giving tourists and residents environmentally friendly access to Canada’s natural beauty is at odds with the achievements that have earned your nation great respect in the United States.  
 
Such good will has a real value to Canada, which should be weighed carefully when considering whether to abandon the world’s most environmentally sustainable mode of transportation.”
 
About the National Association of Railroad Passengers
 
NARP is the only national organization in the U.S. speaking for the users of passenger trains and rail transit. 
 
We have worked since 1967 to expand the quality and quantity of passenger rail in the U.S. Our mission is to work towards a modern, customer-focused national passenger train network that provides a travel choice Americans want. 
 
Our work is supported by over 22,000 individual members.
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Comments
6
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
so-kendra 1/31/2014 9:21:57 PM Report

Well that's great to see! That an out of country organization is sticking up for Canada/Ontario to keep this type of transportation available for us. That built these surrounding areas we call home in northern Ontario. So why don't we let ourselves be heard over this topic and voice to the government that they should keep this rail line going. So our next door neighbors and us can still enjoy what mother nature has to offer us up that way. Anyways "CHEERS TO EVERYONE"! and hope things work out in the end for everyone!!!!!
I'm In 1/31/2014 9:26:24 PM Report

It takes the Americans in Washington D.C. to tell the Canadian Government not to stop passenger train services, but its ok for Politicians to receive their pay increase funded by the taxpayers, where is Hayes on this matter, he should be going to bat for SSM.
eadiecougs 2/1/2014 12:31:51 AM Report

Hayes come on he scolded them his work is done this guy sucks not worth the money he is beening paid
OnTheHill 2/1/2014 1:28:17 AM Report

Who is the CEO of CN? What are the REAL costs of operation? How will this affect US rail crossings in the Sault --- after all that money was spent to satisfy CN? Who are the major stock holders of CN, the US or Canadians? Do they really need government support of any kind? Although a flimsy reason was given for the stoppage of rail service, what is the real reason? And, finally, who paid for the repairs (and continue to pay) to the Root River rail bridge at the 5th Line? Does CN know something we don't and are the stockholders on-line with this?
toodles 2/1/2014 6:45:44 AM Report

Like I have said to friends that still live in the Soo area...if you don't live in Toronto or Ottawa or in the surrounding areas of each city, you mean nothing to them. And now I'm even a little more upset over this because I have just read, they plan on stopping the train service between Montreal and Halifax. I live in central Nova Scotia and I have taken the train to Ontario and loved it. It was beautiful scenery all the way and it was only my second time ever being on a train and I would love to do it more often, going back to Ontario to visit. But now it seems I won't be able to do that anymore either. As it is, the bus system here blows and the schedule for the bus is just as ridiculous. I really do hope they don't cut off the train service in either place. But if they do, it will again prove my point, Canada ONLY revolves around Toronto and Ottawa. And I have two words for you...
KEENER 2/1/2014 8:06:16 AM Report

Just another example of a big company making money off government subsidy. That is what they are shooting for.

Comments
6
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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