Liberals question future of northern rail service
The province's Liberal Party says declining traffic and a lack of funding for CN Rail is jeopardizing the future of a rail service in northern New Brunswick.
CN Railway is looking for $50 million from the New Brunswick government and other partners to maintain freight rail service in the northern part of the province.
Otherwise, the company says it will be forced to discontinue part of the Newcastle Subdivision service by March 2014.
Party members met with CN officials in Bathurst on Friday.
"What’s happening in Miramichi is what’s going to happen all over northern New Brunswick when CN abandons the Newcastle line," said MLA Bill Fraser in a release.
CN Rail says it's incurring annual losses, due to declining traffic volumes and infrastructure costs and needs assistance to keep the 224-kilometre stretch between Catamount, just west of Moncton and Irvco, about 32 kilometres west of Bathurst, operating.
Fraser, the Liberal transportation critic, said the federal government needs to negotiate a deal to keep the line open.
The provincial government said it plans to work with CN to put together a detailed funding proposal for consideration. But Transportation Minister Claude Williams maintains that the province won't be the only stakeholder on the Newcastle route.
About 12 to 15 customers currently use the line.