• Natives Snarl CN & VIA Trains Near Belleville

  • Discussion relating to the Canadian National, past and present. Also includes discussion of Illinois Central and Grand Trunk Western and other subsidiary roads (including Bessemer & Lake Erie and the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railway). Official site: WWW.CN.CA
Discussion relating to the Canadian National, past and present. Also includes discussion of Illinois Central and Grand Trunk Western and other subsidiary roads (including Bessemer & Lake Erie and the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railway). Official site: WWW.CN.CA

Moderators: Komachi, Ken V

  by Dieter
CALEDONIA, Ont. (CP) - A native group is holding up train traffic in eastern Ontario to show support for native protesters maintaining barricades in Caledonia, south of Hamilton.

Tyendinaga Mohawk protesters lit bonfires around midnight beside CN Rail tracks on their territory about 20 kilometres east of Belleville, Ont.

By sunrise, at least six CN freight trains were waiting to get through, according to Tyendinega Mohawk spokesman Shawn Brant.

VIA Rail says as a result of the blockage, trains operating between Toronto and Kingston, Ont., in both directions are being replaced by chartered bus this morning.

The buses will make all regularly scheduled stops at VIA stations and some delays are likely, according to a statement issued by Via Rail.

Brant says about 30 Mohawks on the scene will remain "until proper, dignified and respectful talks" are held to resolve the Caledonia dispute.

See photo of burning bridge at this link;

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/photo/21042006 ... -2006.html
  by Ken V
CN Press Release wrote:CN obtains court injunction to re-open rail line
MONTREAL, April 21, 2006 — CN has obtained an injunction from the Ontario Superior Court, ordering First Nations members currently obstructing CN’s main line between Montreal and Toronto at a site near Marysville, Ontario, to remove their blockade. CN had requested the injunction on the basis that this rail line is an essential link in CN’s transcontinental network, whose unobstructed operation is essential to CN’s freight customers across North America, as well as to the travelling public using VIA passenger rail services.

CN is in no way involved with the dispute involving First Nations near Caledonia, Ontario that apparently triggered this illegal action at Marysville, two hundred miles distant from the Caledonia controversy, and should not be expected to suffer any harm due to a matter with which it has no involvement or interest whatsoever.

Although CN favours a peaceful resolution to this matter, it will take all measures open to it under the law to protect its right to operate its rail service without obstruction or hindrance.
VIA Rail Press Release wrote:UPDATE - Track blockage near Belleville, Ontario: CN closes line: VIA busing passengers on Toronto-Ottawa and Toronto-Montreal routes
MONTREAL - VIA Rail Canada has been informed by Canadian National that its Kingston Subdivision is now closed to all train operations, due to a track blockage in the Marysville area, near Belleville, Ontario. Hence, today's trains operating between Toronto and Ottawa as well as between Toronto and Montreal, in both directions, are being replaced by chartered bus as of noon today.

These alternative arrangements are in place for passengers with existing reservations. VIA is not accepting new bookings for travel today on the affected routes at this time.

Local service between Montreal and Ottawa, in both directions, is not affected.

Buses will make all regularly scheduled stops at enroute VIA stations. VIA will attempt to respect its scheduled departure and arrival times, but significant delays are nonetheless expected.

Customers wishing further information can call 1-888-VIA-RAIL.

No decision has been taken at this time with respect to passenger train operations this weekend. A further update will be issued once more information is available.

  by Ken V
Despite the court injunction, native protesters are showing no intentions of dismantling their blockade of the tracks. Hopefully the standoff can be peaceably resolved soon.

  by Ken V
The trains are moving again. The Mohawk nation has agreed to end this part of their ongoing protest.
VIA Rail Press Release wrote:Track blockage near Belleville, Ontario removed: VIA passenger train operations to return to normal Saturday morning
MONTREAL - VIA Rail Canada has been informed by Canadian National that the track blockage in the Marysville area, near Belleville, Ontario, has now been removed and the tracks cleared for rail traffic resumption. As a result, starting Saturday morning, all passenger trains operating between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal are expected to be back on their normal schedule.

VIA regrets any inconvenience caused to its customers due to today's situation.

  by Dieter
I'm glad that part of it's over. Either someone was going to get hit by a train, or shot at by the OPP.

They [Natives] always do something like this to draw attention. Block a road, a bridge, tracks. Nobody got hurt, thankfully.

Anybody know if their claim on the land is ligit?


  by George L.
What most people don't seem to be aware of is that there are two issues here:

(1) there is the situation in Calendonia, Ontario where natives are protesting a planned housing development by refusing to get off this tract of land, which (they are contending) belong to them through ancestral rights.

(2) and then there's the situation in Belleville where the Mohawks of Tyendinaga were protesting to show their solidarity with their brothers and sisters in Caledonia.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ ... y/National

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ ... 21/BNStory

I do have to commend VIA Rail though on their quick action - they sent an email immediately to alert travellers of the chance in service. Saved me a lot of aggravation...
  by Ken V
One year after this blockade, the same group has done the same thing again. Yesterday at midnight a group of Tyendinaga Mohawks once more blocked the CN mainline bringing all rail traffic to a standstill. Despite yet another court injunction against them, the protesters intend to continue their action for 48 hours. Read more here.

VIA Rail has cancelled all passenger trains between Toronto and Montreal and Toronto and Ottawa until further notice. Passengers with existing reservations are being provided with transportation by chartered bus. More here.
  by Ken V
As part of the National Day of Action being organized across Canada to bring public attention to the issues of native peoples, Shawn Brant, spokesperson for the Tyendinaga band, has threatened to block the CN line at the same location again this Friday (June 29). This time he also says they will blockade the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway (Highway 401) which is the main route between Montreal and Toronto.

In anticipation of the blockade VIA Rail has cancelled all service between Toronto-Montreal and Toronto-Ottawa for the day. Read the VIA press release. CN has also shut down operations over the line for the duration of the protest action. CN release.

There is some more railway related information on the National Day of Action from the Winnipeg Free Press.
Last edited by Ken V on Sat Jun 30, 2007 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

  by lakeshoredave
I remember this happened in the early 1990's on CP and CN, and they had to detour trains on the old Water Level Route. David Baer even did an article about it in Railpace Magazine when he shot some of those trains in a road trip he made to Tifft St in Buffalo.