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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Federal, provincial governments pony up funds for Canadian short-line upgrades


Earlier this week, the Canadian and New Brunswick governments announced plans to provide the New Brunswick Southern Railway up to $18 million to cover half the cost of proposed infrastructure improvements.

The 226-mile short line plans to replace, upgrade and improve rail, ties and bridges, and upgrade terminals in Saint John and McAdam, New Brunswick. The railroad also proposes to upgrade mainlines between Saint John West and the New Brunswick-Maine border, and McAdam and St. Stephen. The short line is the only railroad with direct connections from Atlantic provinces to U.S. northeast markets, according to the New Brunswick Southern Railway.

“In total, this project will deliver an estimated $10.6 million in wages and benefits over the next two years,” said New Brunswick Southern Railway President Jim Irving in a prepared statement. “In addition to sustaining 40 jobs at the railway, we anticipate hiring 35 to 40 people for the duration of this project."

The Canadian and New Brunswick governments “clearly recognize” the importance of short lines to the national and provincial economies, said Cliff Mackay, president and chief executive officer of the Railway Association of Canada (RAC), which represents the interests of more than 50 railroads.

"The RAC encourages other provinces to partner with the federal government and short line railways to invest in short-line infrastructure,” he said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/9/2009