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Scotia Rail Development Society Seeks Response from Federal Candidates

15 October 2019 – Cape Breton Post

Fifteen thousand petition signatures of the citizens of Cape Breton and beyond, letters of support from mayors from Cape Breton to Truro, and from organizations and businesses around the island all reflect the concern about rail service for Cape Breton. 

Scotia Rail Development Society (SRDS) continues to protect community interests and bring the rail issue to the attention of politicians.

Paid for with public dollars over 135 years ago, the Cape Breton railway was in service until 2015, when the US-based owner was granted discontinuance on the Sydney Sub-division. Unfortunately, the current Nova Scotia Railway Act has no end date for discontinuance.

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Cape Breton needs rail service

Ideas In Motion

The potential for restoration of rail freight service to Cape Breton Island remains strong – and the Government of Canada has an obligation to shoulder its share of responsibility.  Nearly five years after the last freight train ran over the 96-mile section of the former CN Sydney Subdivision, the Province of Nova Scotia continues to pay the current owner of the line, US-based Genesee and Wyoming Corporation, a monthly allowance of up to $60,000. This covers such expenses as salaries, insurance, security and building maintenance directly attributed to the line between St. Peter’s Junction and Sydney, in return for which G&W will not apply to remove the track.

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More Support for Rail Service

19 October 2019 – Cape Breton Post

Thank you to the Scotia Rail Development Society (SRDS) and specially to Jim Guy and Mary MacPherson, for bringing the issue of rail to the forefront in this election (“An open letter about rail in Cape Breton”, Cape Breton Post, October 15)

Firstly, we want to commend our island for the service and volunteerism we see in our two ridings, as groups such as these take on the role of advocacy and service to our communities. 

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Rail infrastructure funding exists

Province must support the request but local cabinet ministers ‘have been as quiet as mice’ on the issue

CB 15062018 Railway CS largeShown above in this file photo is a view toward the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia's rail operations off Ferry Street in Sydney’s north end. - Chris Shannon (Image © Cape Breton Post)

By Daniel Doucet

The recent controversy over the proposed transportation of Donkin coal by barge raises the question once again of why the use of rail transportation is not being taken more seriously by government.

When the new owners recently announced their plan to proceed with seismic testing, area fishermen were alarmed, but were quieted temporarily by the coal company’s construction of the make-shift highway. Although they had expressed a preference for rail transportation, they had at least, for the time being, warded off the coal company from their fishing grounds.

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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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