Wakefield steam train to run partially by 2014
Delay due to fundraising plan, repairs, construction
The Wakefield steam train won't be running again until 2014, and only between Chelsea and Wakefield.
The rest of the track, between Gatineau and Chelsea, was badly damaged during heavy rains last summer and won't be back online until 2016.
The train itself was kept in the region late last year when several Quebec municipalities, the provincial government and Outaouais tourism pulled together $500,000.
At the time, in November, the municipal owners of the tracks said they hoped to have the train running by 2013.
According to Louise Boudrias, president of the CCFO (the railway company managed by the municipalities of Gatineau, Chelsea and La Pêche), the work to repair the cars, stations and tracks will not start until the necessary funds are collected through fundraising.
Boudrias said the temporarily shorter route could be appealing for young families who sometimes found the journey from Gatineau to Wakefield too long.
When construction and repairs between Gatineau and Wakefield are done, customers will be able to board the train at one of three stations.
Officials are also thinking about extending the tourist season of the train into the winter, but nothing has been decided.
The delay is disappointing for some business owners in Wakefield, because the steam train brought in customers.
Marc Fournier of La Confiserie Wakefield said he isn't surprised by the delay. Fournier told Radio-Canada he doubts the CCFO can raise enough money to fund the project.