Tuesday, April 13, 2010

C$500,000 shortline rail infrastructure grants on track

Written by 

Saskatchewan shortline railways, which primarily serve grain producers, will receive C$500,000 for this year's infrastructure grants to assist them with projects such as track maintenance, railway tie replacements and bridge repairs.

The grants are provided through the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure's Shortline Railway Sustainability Program. This program began in 2008, and by the end of this fiscal year it will have invested C$1.5 million in provincially-regulated railway infrastructure. The provincial grants are matched by the shortlines, which will mean a total of C$3 million invested.

"These railways provide shippers with another transportation option help with economic development in rural Saskatchewan and contribute to reducing truck traffic congestion and related road wear," Highways and Infrastructure Minister Jim Reiter said. "Shortlines are important because they help link Saskatchewan's export-based economy to provincial, national and worldwide markets."

This year's recipients and their provincial grant amounts are:

• Southern Rails Co-operative based out of Avonlea, $30,000;

• Carlton Trail Railway based out of Prince Albert, $60,957;

• Red Coat Road and Rail based out of Viceroy, $40,994;

• Great Western Railway based out of Shaunavon, $176,811;

• Thunder Rail based out of Arborfield, $30,000;

• Wheatland Rail based out of Cudworth, $30,000;

• Fife Lake Railway based out of Coronach, $34,578;

•Torch River Rail based out of Choiceland, $30,000; and

•Great Sandhills Railway based out of Leader, $66,660.

This cost-sharing program was started to help shortline railways maintain their aging infrastructure and to support this component of Saskatchewan's multi-modal transportation system. This is the third year in a row the grants have been announced.

"We're pleased to see the ministry continue this program as our industry grows with two additional shortline railways starting last year," Saskatchewan Shortline Railway Association Chairman Roger Gadd said.

Saskatchewan has 10 privately-owned shortline railways that can operate on about 1,700 km (1,050 miles) of provincially-regulated track. These provincial shortlines connect to about 7,100 km (4,400 miles) of federally-regulated rail lines in Saskatchewan.

blog comments powered by Disqus