Two strings of CWR are loaded in Renfrew - 19 Sep 2011 Raymond S. Farand.
29 September 2011
Looking to Acquire the CP Railway Corridor
Renfrew Ontario - As rails and ties continue to be ripped up across the Ottawa Valley, Renfrew County has officially moved to acquire
the now defunct Canadian Pacific Railway corridor.
County council agreed Wednesday to establish an ad-hoc committee that will lead the ongoing discussions to secure the line for future uses.
County staff will commence the creation of a project team and development of a memorandum of understanding that encompasses the guiding principles for the
acquisition of the rail corridor. They will also initiate discussions with the crown corporation, the Township of Papineau-Cameron, and Lanark County.
"CP wants to deal with this in one piece. We fully understand that there are many stakeholders along that railroad who have an interest," said
County Warden Bob Sweet. "They are not going to be ignored."
The committee will include Warden Sweet, Whitewater Reeve Donald Rathwell, chairman of the development and property committee, and Admaston/Bromley Mayor
Raye-Anne Briscoe, chairwoman of the finance and administration committee. The warden calls the CP line a major opportunity for the area.
"This would be a huge economic development tool for the County of Renfrew," he said. "This would be the backbone of one of the largest trail
systems anywhere in Ontario and certainly in Canada. It's a huge opportunity."
Last year, the 104-mile segment of the line between Smiths Falls and CFB Petawawa was discontinued by CP after it planned to sell the Ottawa Valley Railway.
After CP diverted traffic off the line, shortline operator RailAmerica terminated its lease with CP. This launched a process under the Canada Transportation
Act that laid out specific time periods for various stakeholders to express interest in purchasing the track. Since then, however, no interested parties came
forward with a business plan to purchase and run the line.
"The railroad leaving here was not the right thing for us but that was beyond our control." "They are pulling it up and it's gone."
After the provincial election, Warden Sweet wants to discuss the rail acquisition with Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MP Cheryl Gallant and the riding's MPP.