SYDNEY — A spokesman for the Scotia Railway Development Society predicts 2017 will be a busy year for the group as it works to not only maintain the railway in Cape Breton but also to encourage better public policy around rail in the province.
Greg MacLeod said the society’s prime objective was to prevent Genesee & Wyoming, owner of the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway, from tearing up the Cape Breton portion of the tracks and selling them. For months, the railway has been in a position where it could apply to abandon the line but it hasn’t done so.
“We succeeded in that,” he said. “Our next objective is where do we go from here, the future development, and there’s a number of possibilities on the table.”
In a recent interview, Nova Scotia Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan said Genesee & Wyoming has not taken any steps to abandon the railway. He also noted that in recent discussions around the future of port development in Sydney harbour, the railway has shown a willingness to be at the table.
The railway has said it will work with the team marketing the port of Sydney for development, but that it wouldn't necessarily change its plans to apply to abandon the line. Rail will be critical to any future port development and the port has been identified as the only real potential source of new railway traffic.
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