Agawa Canyon tour train to be refurbished, repainted

From Trains Magazine

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. — Canadian National’s Agawa Canyon tour train equipment is on its way to Illinois for refurbishment and repainting. CN spokesman Mark Hallman told TRAINS News Wire the C$10 million project aims to improve the ride experience.

CN acquired the tour train with its 2001 purchase of Wisconsin Central Ltd. and WC subsidiary Algoma Central Railway. The train travels daily between Sault Ste. Marie and Agawa Canyon Wilderness Park, 114 miles, during summer and fall. CN uses the former Denver Ski Train consist for the service, and the train currently operates with CN patches over the old Ski Train markings.

Hallman said the work will include installing larger car windows for better viewing, new carpeting, new window trim, and seat reupholstery. CN and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp., an arm of the provincial government, are jointly funding the work.

Additional work includes new wheels and extra safety features. Beyond the joint upgrade, the Salt Ste. Marie Economic Development Corp. has secured C$1 million to install state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment for the train. Those upgrades will include GPS-linked headsets to provide commentary along the route (it’ll be available in five languages), and a front-mounted digital video camera that’ll feed to 196 TV monitors inside the passenger cars. It’s part of the CN-Heritage Fund fleet acquisition and renewal program announced in May 2009.

The train will wear a special paint scheme, and CN plans to have the work completed in time for the 2011 summer tour season.

For more information on the Agawa Canyon tour train, visit