Algoma Eastern Railway Reporting mark: AER
The Algoma Eastern Railway (AER), although run separately from the Algoma Central Railway (ACR), were both owned by the same parent company. The railway began as the Manitoulin & North Shore Railway (M&NS) in 1888.
Like the ACR, the M&NS eventually became part of the Lake Superior Corporation, headed by Francis Clergue. Clergue needed to transport sulphur to his paper mill in Sault Ste. Marie. He also needed sulphur which could be mined in the Sudbury area. He purchased a couple of small mines, the Gertrude Mine, and the Elsie Mine, added a smelter at the Gertrude Mine, and then picked up the charter for the M&NS Railway.
Between 1900 and 1903, the railway began expanding to other mines in the area. Although Clergue's empire collapsed in 1903, there was still a considerable amount of business from the surrounding mines so the railway was able to carry on. In 1911 it was renamed Algoma Eastern Railway. Construction continued until 1913 when it reached Little Current.
In 1930 the AER was leased by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) which maintained operations for a number of years. Due to financial pressures, along with the collapse of numerous industries during the depression, the CPR gradually began to abandon the line in the mid 1930s. As well the CPR ran a number of parallel lines in the same area so it made little sense to continue with both.
The AER was fully absorbed into the CPR in 1958. The last passenger run to Little Current was in 1963.