Wakefield steam train saved by $500K local offer
The Wakefield steam train has been saved by $500,000 from a series of west Quebec municipalities, the provincial government and Outaouais tourism.
The municipal owners of the railroad tracks from Hull to Wakefield matched an offer from an outside bidder for the steam train and kept it in the region.
|Where the $500,000 to save the Wakefield steam train came from|
|Outaouais Tourism Development program||$177,600|
|Quebec Tourism Ministry||$100,000|
|City of Gatineau||$90,800|
|City of Gatineau Ecomonic Development||$35,000|
|Collines de l'Outaouais Ecomonic Development||$25,000|
|Municipality of La Pêche||$7,000|
|Municipality of Chelsea||$3,600|
They said they hope to have the train up and running again in 2013.
The CCFO, the company managed by the municipalities of Gatineau, Chelsea and La Pêche, had confirmed steam train owner André Groulx received an offer to buy the train.
But the representatives from the municipalities exercised the right to first refusal for the acquisition of the steam engine, the diesel locomotive and passenger cars.
A group from Sept-Îles, Que., which hoped to purchase the train operation, made the original offer to purchase the train. The deadline to match the offer was Nov. 29.
"We were able to mobilize quickly and provide funds to raise the $500,000 and thus allow the CCFO to make a promise to purchase within the time limit," CCFO President Louise Boudrias said in a released statement.
Boudrias had told Radio-Canada she always maintained she would do everything in her power to keep the "little train" in the region.
The CCFO has estimated the cost to repair the tracks would be about $7 million and said the earliest the train would resume operations is in 2013.
The Outaouais Tourism Board has said the train brings 50,000 to 60,000 tourists into Wakefield each year, generating close to $10 million in revenues.