Sudbury

End of the line for Huron Central Railway unless funding secured

A freight rail company in northeastern Ontario says it will shut down its lines early next year between Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie.

Company says it needs $40M to keep running

Huron Central Railway says it needs $40 million in funding to rehabilitate and sustain its freight line. (www.gwrr.com)

A freight rail company in northeastern Ontario says it will shut down its lines early next year between Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie.

In a statement, Huron Central Railway says it has repeatedly sought government funding to develop a long-term strategy. It says it needs $40 million in government funding over the next five years to keep the line going.

"For the last few years, we have worked diligently with elected officials in Toronto and Ottawa and a dedicated team of local leaders to develop a long-term strategy to sustain the Huron Central Railway," Louis Gravel, president of Genesee & Wyoming Canada Inc., the parent company of Huron Central said.

"While both the provincial and federal governments made commitments to support our long-term plan, the only recent funding received has been a modest investment from the province to temporarily sustain operations."

The company says if it doesn't get the money, the line will shut down in early 2020.

In November 2018, the Progressive Conservative provincial government announced $980,000 in funding for the company.

Gravel says that money was used to "complete the minimum level of emergency repairs needed to sustain the safe operation of the line."

Earlier in 2018, $800,000 was announced for the company under the previous provincial Liberal government. That announcement came after the company threatened to shut down if it didn't get funding to refurbish its tracks.

The company made similar funding requests and threatened to close in 2009 before it got $30 million in provincial and federal funding.

The line is used to move products from a number of companies, including materials from Algoma Steel and Domtar Paper.

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