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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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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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Light at the end of the Cape Breton rail tunnel?

Province agrees to subsidize some operational costs to maintain Cape Breton rail

cbpost railroad 2017 septemberThis file photo from 2015 shows one of the last trains to operate on the Genesee & Wyoming line in Cape Breton. Under a new preservation agreement, the existing rail line between St. Peter's Junction, near Port Hawkesbury, and Sydney will be maintained.

By Nancy King | Cape Breton Post | 1 September 2017

SYDNEY, N.S. — The province has reached an agreement with the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway Ltd. that will see the Cape Breton portion of the railway preserved for a period in exchange for the province reimbursing operational expenses.But while the year-long agreement was announced Friday, it was back-dated to March, Minister of Business Geoff MacLellan said in an interview. The deal may be renewed with the approval of Treasury Board.“It’s incumbent on me, and we’ve asked for this, that I go back to Treasury Board to explain the relationship, to explain the details of the investment, to explain the total expenditures that have been made,” MacLellan said, adding they didn’t want to start with a two- or three-year dealUnder the preservation agreement, the existing rail line between St. Peter's Junction, near Port Hawkesbury, and Sydney will be maintained. The company agreed to not apply to abandon the line and the province will reimburse what it described in a news release as valid expenses up to $60,000 a month.

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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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