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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

CMQR gains Transport Canada approval to operate Quebec line


The Central Maine & Quebec Railway (CMQR) recently received the go-ahead from Transport Canada to operate an ungraded rail line in Canada.

On Dec. 5, the railroad received the official revocation of a series of federal notices and orders, confirming that immediate threats no longer exist on the line, CMQR officials said in a press release. The notices and orders were transferred to the railroad following its purchase of the bankrupt Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway.

Transport Canada's decision follows months of work, a multitude of inspections and an additional $10 million investment in the line, CMQR officials said. The railroad spent the past four months installing more than 32,000 new ties, 110,000 linear feet of rail and 25,000 tons of ballast; upgrading bridges, culverts and grade crossings; completing surfacing work; and removing more than 300 in-track rail defects from its main tracks and sidings, they said.

The Sherbrooke subdivision is "the 125-mile backbone" of the railroad's Quebec line, which stretches from Lac-Megantic to Brookport just east of Farnham, CMQR officials said.

"We had to make this investment. The line was covered in snow last February and March when we were finally able to begin our diligence, but we made a commitment to Lac-Megantic Mayor [Collette Roy] Laroche and citizens, as well as many regulators, that we would address the years of neglect," said CMQR President and Chief Executive Officer John Giles.

CMQR officials now consider the first phase of the railroad's transformation to be largely completed.

"Not to say we don't have a lot more track and infrastructure work to do next spring, but we have already started Phase II, which focuses on growth, customers and interline partners," said Giles.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/17/2014