NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF
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.