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Rail is Cape Breton’s Lost Infrastructure

Connectivity the key economic contribution of resurrected island rail service

  • Cape Breton Post
  • 22 Jul 2020
  • Dr. Jim Guy is an author and professor emeritus of political science at Cape Breton University. JIM GUY This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. @CapeBretonPost

When the COVID-19 menace finally lifts, where will we be in Cape Breton? The devastating effects of this virus to the island’s economy still have to be calculated and reconciled against whatever resources we have left to muster. Will it be the same ol’, same ol’ for all matters of economic development to move this island forward?

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New hope for Cape Breton’s rusting rails

Complete grade rail from Truro to Sydney pegged at $130 million

Cape Breton Post / 13 July 2020 / Ted Bartlett, President, Transport Action Atlantic.

 orangedaletrain station

CONTRIBUTED There have been no train whistles heard at the Orangedale station in nearly five years.

It’s now been nearly five years since the final whistle sounded at Orangedale, as the Genesee and Wyoming shortline railway company ran its last freight train over the Sydney Subdivision. The rails have continued to rust, ties are deteriorating, and the roadbed is being compromised by unrepaired washouts – despite monthly maintenance payments by Nova Scotia’s taxpayers.

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Atlantic Gateway concept holds key to Island’s revitalization

Rail is the lost infrastructure in Cape Breton

jim guy 400Jim Guy, Ph.D, is a Director with Scotia Rail Development Society and an author and professor emeritus of political science at Cape Breton University. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In a column I wrote two months ago ("Is it time to unite as a single provincial government," Dec. 26), I noted that the eastern part of this country runs 7,000 kilometres headland to headland, longer than is found in most any other country in the world.

While most Canadians think of us simply as the "east", "the Maritimes" or "Atlantic Canada", very few of us think of where we live as an economic gateway to the world. The "the Atlantic gateway."

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24 June ’20 / allNovaScotia

Albert Barbusci, CEO, Sydney Harbour Investment Partners writes: 

The team at Novaporte agrees fully with comments made by J. J. Ruest that terminals on Canada’s east coast are not quite modern enough, or on a scale, to participate fully in the key trade routes compared to the west coast. 

The continued growth of the Port of Halifax and CN’s commitment to rail service is great for all of Nova Scotia. But we think a new deep-water mega port is best positioned for Sydney, NS instead of another province.

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Cape Bretoners call for repairs to crumbling rail line

N.S. government says it is working on regulations that would make regular inspections, repairs mandatory

Tom Ayers · CBC News · Posted: Jun 16, 2020 6:00 AM AT

cape breton railway washoutDrone footage shows a three-year-old washout on the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway line west of Sydney has not been repaired by the railway owner. (Submitted by Steve Smith) 
Some Cape Bretoners are calling for immediate repairs to the crumbling rail line that runs across the island, regardless of whether a proposed container terminal gets built in Sydney harbour.

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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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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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