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5/21/2008



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Saskatchewan to pony up $500,000 for short-line infrastructure projects


The Saskatchewan government recently announced plans to provide $500,000 in the current fiscal year to help fund short-line infrastructure improvements.

Through a new and first-of-its-kind provincial program, the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure will fund half the cost of approved projects while the province's eight short lines fund the remainder, the Saskatchewan government said.

"Our export-based and growing economy relies on a responsive transportation network that can move goods quickly and as cost-effectively as possible, [and] short-line rail is an increasingly important part of that network," said Highways and Infrastructure Minister Wayne Elhard in a prepared statement.

In Saskatchewan, Arborfield Thunder Rail, Carlton Trail Railway, Fife Lake Railway Ltd., Great Western Railway Ltd., Red Coat Road and Railway, Southern Rails Cooperative, Torch River Rail Inc. and Wheatland Railway Inc. operate 875 miles of track, which are regulated by the province. The short lines can apply for funding if their project meets the criteria of the province, which will place a priority on projects designed to improve safety and service efficiency.

"Short-line railways have been requesting an infrastructure program and have worked with the province to see it developed. It is great to see this much needed program become a reality," said Saskatchewan Shortline Railroad Association Chairman Roger Gadd.


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