Fighting to preserve the rails
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/Fi ... story.html
Last week, Canadian Pacific Railway began the process of taking up their rails that run through the Ottawa Valley.
They started removing rails between Renfrew and Pembroke and intend to continue with this action this year and next, until all rails have been removed between Smiths Falls and Mattawa. This section will never be replaced.
Such is not the case for the local Canadian National rail line. Fortunately for the Ottawa Valley including the Pontiac, Renfrew County and the City of Ottawa, a dedicated group of volunteers, comprised of business leaders, municipal representatives from Pembroke, Whitewater, Laurentian Valley, Portage-du-Fort, Litchfield, Clarendon, Campbell's Bay, Bristol, and Ottawa, have been working on acquiring the CN line known as the Beachburg sub.
This group incorporated as Transport Pontiac-Renfrew (TPR), has a very detailed business plan and has recruited experienced and highly qualified staff committed to joining the business. TPR has enjoyed the co-operation of CN since the beginning of this process. TPR is incorporated as a not-for-profit business and plans to begin freight operation in early 2012, followed by tourism rail service and commuter service soon thereafter.
The line travels from Ottawa, through the Pontiac, into Renfrew County and on to Pembroke. It is also hoped that the link to Mattawa can be preserved, in order to maintain Canada's cross country line and to preserve national security through the vital service to base Petawawa. Right now, CP plans to remove this link next year and few objections have been voiced despite there being considerable shipper demand for freight service on the line.
It is important to recognize the vision of people who have had the foresight to save this vital part of our heritage and the very valid tool for economic development and employment in the area.
It is interesting to note, as well, that rail transport is an important and key feature for a green future for our children and grandchildren.
If you interested in more information regarding TPR, visit our website at www.transportpontiacrenfrew.ca
, or phone 1.800.665.5217.
Harry Gow Saint-Antoine-sur-Richelieu, Quebec