Throwback Thursday #3

Late fall, when all the trees are in full autumn colour display, is always a popular season for riding the Agawa Canyon Tour Train excursion. At this time of year, the length of the tour train swells to capacity as tourists time their trips for the best fall colour viewing.

Private car Agawa brings up the rear on a northbound Agawa Canyon Tour Train at Frater circa 1996, with several rented Ontario Northland coaches in the consist. Blair Smith photo.

In the 1980s and 1990s when the tour train reached full capacity, the railway’s entire coach fleet would be pressed into service on the tour train, and it was common for additional cars rented from Ontario Northland and VIA Rail to cover service on the daily regular train to Hearst as well as overflow cars for the Canyon tour. In addition to nos. 3 and 4 running as the dedicated Tour Train, northbound no. 1, the regular train from Sault Ste. Marie to Hearst, would also expand with overflow cars as a sort of “second section” to the tour train. On arrival at Canyon, the overflow tour train cars would be set off in the siding to be picked up later by southbound no. 2, which during this time of year would operate with a 30 minute “run late” order to give the overflow passengers an appropriate amount of time to enjoy the Agawa Canyon Park.

3 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday #3

  1. Chris,
    Is the Agawa Canyon tourist train still in operation? I had heard somewhere that it had been shut down by CN. My wife and I rode it about 10 years ago, and had wanted to do it again soon, and even take it all the way to Hearst.
    Just curious.
    Phil Gliebe

    • The Agawa Canyon Tour Train doesn’t run during the winter/spring. I think it starts up again at the beginning of June. It was still running in 2017. I expect it to still be running this year.

      The regular train to Hearst is no longer an option; it last ran in July 2015.

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