Did CP and OVR make a mistake with removing the Chalk River Subdivision with all of the CP oil trains bound for eastern refineries now having to run via the longer run through Toronto?
Moderators: Komachi, Ken V
labaienordique wrote:In my opinion, I don't know of any country that allows transportation infrastructure to be ripped up that leads to its nation's capital... I believe though the danger in not having this line available now is in the event of a crisis or an emergency. Should there ever be an incident (God forbid) like the one in Lac Mégantic, an environmental catastrophe or worse that should occur in the 401 corridor that would force a temporary closure, there exists only one line outside that corridor that connects Eastern & Western Canada; albeit a series of lines through the ONR corridor into Kirkland Lake, Rouyn-Noranda QC, and then by the CN lines into l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue & towards inland Québec. But that's one helluva detour if you ask me.It is very frustrating that they are closing and dismantling the rail structure. Once that is completed, the line is done forever. It does seem logical to leave at least one of these routes in place, or a combination of both CN's and CP's lines to make one decent through line between Sudbury, Smiths Falls and Coteau. If more unit trains become more and more of a reality in coming years, and these big trains cause capacity issues through Toronto, then the short-cut through the Ottawa Valley would have been worth it to retain. Was there effort on the the part of either CN or CP or both send more Montréal-Prairies direct traffic over the the Ottawa Valley Rail Link also. Some tax dollars could have been used to help with track upkeep and maintenance. Was there any kind of on line businesses over the lines in years past such as paper and pulp mills?
Lines like the former Ottawa-North Bay CN line & the OVR (CP) were developed to transport goods & connect cities across the country; so I find it incredibly short sided that these rail providers would remove infrastructure that could be used at worse, during an emergency. Unlike the 401 corridor, the majority of highways in Northern Ontario are subject to regular closures during the winter months due to deteriorating road conditions, traffic collisions, etc. In quite a few cases, there aren't any real detours (particularly on highway 17 between Mattawa & Petawawa).
I think it would be prudent in the future for governments to take some of these factors into consideration before approving abandonments of railways & other transportation infrastructure.
Fortunately, the OVR (though the name no longer reflects the area it serves), still operates today between Témiscaming QC, Mattawa, North Bay & Sudbury.