A Canadian Regional Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Algoma Central Railway -(1899-1901)(1965-20011)
Algoma Central & Hudson Bay Railway (1901-1965)
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The Algoma Central Railway (ACR) is a railway in Northern Ontario that ran between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst, Ontario, with a branch line to Michipicoten.
The Algoma Central Railway was initially owned by Francis H. Clergue, who required a railway to haul resources from the interior of the Algoma District to Clergue's industries in Sault Ste. Marie; specifically, to transport logs to his pulp mill and iron ore from the Helen Mine near Wawa to a proposed steel mill (which was later named Algoma Steel).
The area served by the railway is sparsely populated, with few roads.
The railway began to promote the natural beauty of the district of Algoma to tourists, especially the Agawa Canyon, a canyon around the Agawa River, 114 rail miles north of Sault Ste. Marie that is not accessible by road. The Algoma Central developed a tourist stopover here, which was a great success for the railway. Owing to the popularity of the Agawa Canyon excursions, the Algoma Central would run the longest passenger trains in North America, often up to 20 to 24 cars long. During the 1970s and 1980s around 100,000 people per year would tour Agawa Canyon..
The railway was purchased by Wisconsin Central Transportation in 1995, which was in turn purchased by Canadian National Railway in 2001. It is now operated as part of CN's Eastern Division.
Sfort history of the Algoma Central & Hudson Bay and the Algoma Central Railways
1899 - The Algoma Central Railway (ACR) was chartered on August 11, 1899, by Francis H. Clergue, who required a railway to haul resources from the interior of the Algoma District to Clergue's industries in Sault Ste. Marie; specifically, to transport logs to his pulp mill and iron ore from the Helen Mine near Wawa to a proposed steel mill. The railway's Dominion and provincial charters gave it authority to build north from Sault Ste. Marie to a junction with the Canadian Pacific Railway's main line, as well as a branch line to Michipicoten Harbour, on Lake Superior near Wawa.
1901 - Clergue acquired the charter of the Ontario, Hudson Bay and Western Railway, (OHB&W) that was intending to build a line between the CPR main line and Hudson Bay and then changed the name of the Algoma Central Railway to The Algoma Central and Hudson Bay Railway Company,(ACHB) anticipating a connection either to Moose Factory on James Bay, or to some point on Hudson Bay.
1903 - The ACHB fell victim to the bankruptcy of Clergue's Consolidated Lake Superior Corporation in 1903.
1903 - ACHB had reached 56 miles north of Sault Ste. Marie with a 20-mile segment running east from Michipicoten Harbour that did not yet connect with the main line when construction was stopped.
1909 - Construction was resumed and the line was extended northward through to junctions with the Michipicoten Harbour branch (at Hawk Junction), the Canadian Pacific Railway (at Franz) and the Canadian Northern Railway (at Oba).
1914 - The ACHB finally reached Hearst, a town 296 miles north of Sault Ste. Marie that was a divisional point on the National Transcontinental Railway. By that time, Clergue's dream of building a railway to Hudson Bay or James Bay had long been abandoned, and the railway's northern terminus remained at Hearst, around 150 miles from James Bay.
1931 - The ACHB is running two mixed trains a a day between Sault Ste. Marie and Franz , and one mixed train to Hearst. It also ran mixed trains twice a week on its branch to Michipicoten.
1952 - The ACHB is fully dieselized, the first Canadian railway to do so.
1965 - ACHB name changed back to Algoma Central Railway (ACR).
1960's - ACR begins to expand operations into marine steamships, trucking, real estate, forestry, and mining which proove to be more profitable than the railroad.
1970-80's - ACR begims to specialize in very successful tour trains to Agawa Canyon.
1990 - The ACR become a subsifiary of the Algoma Central Corporation, which had more profitable operations other than rail.
& Hudson Bay
April 25, 1948
& Hudson Bay
& Hudson Bay - 1931
1995 - . On February 1, 1995, Wisconsin Central Ltd. purchased Algoma Central Railway Incorporated, operating the railway as a separate subsidiary
1998 - Algoma Steel closed its iron ore mine in Wawa, and the branch line between Michipicoten Harbour and Hawk Junction was abandoned.
2001 - Wisconsin Central Ltd. was acquired by Canadian National on October 9, 2001, whereupon the Algoma Central became part of CN's Eastern Division.
Algoma Central's Tourist Trains
The schedule covers to the right are from the Algoma Central 1988 tourist train offerings. we note that thr Agawa Canyon train is essentially a regular train between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst; a significant improvement from the mixed trains of the 30's The snow train is a three times a winter special that includes a dining car..
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- various editions
April 21, 2009, revised April 15, 2011