Friday, June 08, 2007
The Other Acadian Railway
I wanted to take a minute to talk about the "other" Acadian Railway, the tourist operation that ran in 2002 and 2003.
The railway operated up to ten Budd cars between Montreal and Saint John, on daylight-only trips on the "Acadian". Passengers stayed overnight at hotels in Greenville, Maine. Sharon McDonnell chronicled her trip in TravelLady Magazine. The first Acadian train ran on June 11, 2002.
They had another train, the "Lake Champlain", between Montreal and New York City. If I recall these were private cars tacked on to the end of Amtrak trains but I may be wrong. Anyone know more details?
They featured numerous trip packages that included side trips to Maritime tourist attractions, and linked up with tour buses and VIA Rail.
On June 5, 2003, the Acadian Railway stopped operating excursions. They informed the Canadian Transportation Agency on July 14 that they no longer had insurance, and in order number 2003-R-494 their certificate of fitness was revoked.
The president, Randy Parten, cited numerous reasons for the termination (such as a depressed economy, SARS, and mad cow disease, of all things) but the reality was that ridership was low. There were some discussions about resuming operations in 2004 but that did not happen.
I regret very much that I never saw the train, even once. My good friend David Morris has photos of every run so I hope I can present a few photos from him.
In the interim, have a look at these photos. The photo above is from the same site.
Bill Linley featured an article on the railway in the July 2002 Transport 2000 Atlantic newsletter.
By the way, do not go to acadianrailway.com unless you want unwanted software installed on your computer. The domain name has been taken over and is being abused.