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Scotia Rail Predicts Busy 2017

imageA spokesman for the Scotia Railway Development Society says they intend to spend much of 2017 working to continue to maintain the railway in Cape Breton and encourage improved public policy around rail in the province. © Cape Breton PostSYDNEY — 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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Opinion: Restore rail service to Cape Breton

opinion Aug 2016Trains can move cargo far more cheaply than trucks, so why do we allow railways to abandon track?MARY MACPHERSON & MADELINE LAWLER
Published August 26, 2016

RAILWAYS are a driving force in the economy, offering the cheapest and cleanest form of ground transportation. For almost 20 years, rail companies have been allowed to regulate themselves and abandon lines, with almost no government intervention or concern for communities they serve.

Rail companies are profit driven. Moving traffic to trucks on taxpayer-funded highways is cheaper for them than running a train on low-traffic lines they have to maintain. But is this really better for communities, the economy and the environment?

How about protecting Nova Scotia taxpayers’ investments in our highways by diverting more truck traffic to railways? Rail could help trucking companies that face driver shortages and, in the long run, unstable fuel prices.

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Cape Breton’s Contribution to Paris Agreement

Cape Breton’s Contribution to Paris Agreement on Climate Change:
Make Your Personal Contribution

The Scotia Rail Development Society (SRDS) is calling for Nova Scotians to encourage their MP to support the railway on Cape Breton Island. SRDS, aligned with the Sustainable Transportation Action Team (STAT) with the Ecology Action Centre, is advocating to keep the railway.

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Cape Breton group calls for public policy discussion on rail

Train image

Published on August 22, 2016

SYDNEY — As the future of rail in Cape Breton remains a question mark, members of the Scotia Rail Development Society would like to see governments engage in a serious public policy discussion about rail infrastructure in Nova Scotia and across the country.

“Canada as a country doesn’t really have a clear transportation policy in regards to railways,” said rail society member Jason Morrison. “It is time for Canada to step up to the international plate and define the role of railways in Canada for Canadians, not for railway companies.”

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Cape Breton railway could fight climate change: Scotia Rail Development Society

FRAM DINSHAW | STAFF REPORTER
Published August 21, 2016 - 6:25pm
Last Updated August 22, 2016 - 1:40pm

A 394-kilometre-long railway line running through Cape Breton could be a key weapon in the fight against climate change.

The Scotia Rail Development Society says the rail link, sold to American company Genesee and Wyoming in 2012, could be a cost-efficient and low-carbon way of transporting goods through Cape Breton at a time when a container port is planned for Sydney.

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Our Mission Is Fourfold:

  1. Explore various options for continuation of the rail service to Sydney, Cape Breton
  2. Demonstrate the vital importance regionally in order to support the continuation of the rail link to Sydney, Cape Breton
  3. Support efforts to ensure continuation of the rail link to Sydney, Cape Breton
  4. Secure in perpetuity the right of way of the line

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