Society staying on track to save the rail
Sydney, Nova Scotia – November 27, 2015 - The board of directors of Scotia Rail Development Society met on Wednesday to discuss the recent announcements concerning an agreement by Genesee Wyoming to resume rail service when the Sydney Container Port is operational. The board expressed support for the Mayor’s programme to develop a container port but they assume that such a billion dollar project will take six to ten years to develop. Their concern is that the railway service would simply be put on the “back burner”. Hence the society decided to continue its campaign to seek provincial and federal support for a railway in Cape Breton. The group has initiated a campaign to have 10,000 Cape Bretoners sign a petition of support for the railway. An on-line version of the petition can be accessed from the society website www.scotiarail.ca.
The board has repeated its concern that cessation of rail service is a drastic reduction in our local capacity for future economic development. Approximately 37 people are active on a variety of committees. Within days of announcing the petition, over five-hundred people have signed up.
During the next few months the committees will gather information on the business potential for a rail service in Cape Breton. Members of the board expressed a strong opinion that Genesee Wyoming did not actively seek and compete for business. They seemed intent on selling the high quality steel rails and thus make a profit in that manner.
The board expressed the opinion that there is a strong business case for continuation. Freight traffic has been diverted from the railway to the highway for reasons that were not always economic. Members were skeptical of the claim that it is cheaper to ship freight to Newfoundland through Halifax rather than North Sydney. Committees will analyse such questions.
The new motto adopted is “ALL ABOARD – SAVE THE RAILWAY”
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