Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario tourist train falters

October 5, 2015

Mechanical issues halted tour train

More than 800 passengers were stranded Friday on the Sault Ste. Marie platform after the ACR Tour Train locomotive experienced mechanical problems.

The Agawa Canyon Tour Train resumed service Saturday and Sunday, as per normal schedules, said Mark Hallman, CN director of communications.Website Insert Turnkey Packages copy

Hallman said a locomotive had an electrical problem, which was repaired later that afternoon, and the locomotive was returned to service Saturday.

“CN regrets the inconvenience caused to ticketholders by the cancellation,” Hallman said.

Ian McMillan, executive director of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie said it’s unfortunate the train was cancelled at the last minute. “It was a sold out train and there were a lot of disheartened people waiting for the train who were told at the last minute it would not be running,” said McMillan.

The train holds 850 passengers and is extremely popular during the fall months after colours on the trees turn to their bright red and orange hues.

The Agawa Canyon Tour Train itself operates with 14 coaches and a dining car. Two additional passenger train cars, normally used with the passenger train service, had been added to bump up passenger numbers and accommodate the need.

Typically, the last two weeks of September and first week of October is considered the peak travel time, bringing hundreds of tourists into the city for the day-long trip.

McMillan said a full refund was provided to the guests and some of the groups found other activities to occupy their time, including taking their coach for a drive up the Lake Superior Coast, visiting other sites like the Canadian Heritage Bushplane Museum or getting tickets for the Algoma Fall Festival Group of Seven film premier.

He said it’s not known how many groups cancelled their night’s accommodation and returned home.

“Most of the impact is solely on the train. It was a last minute cancellation and people were already here. We wouldn’t know how many pulled out immediately unless we canvased each hotel individually,” he said.

Sault Star reporter Elaine Della-Mattia has the full story by clicking here.


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