Efforts proceed to assure continued service on Huron Central Railway along Lake Huron’s northern shores, but some sticking points remain, according to Bill Therriault, chair of the multi-modal steering committee for the city of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
Therriault told a City Council that a critical component of the plan to save the rail line owned by Canadian Pacific, and leased to Huron Central, was government funding from city, provincial, and federal sources. Ontario and the federal government have pledged C$30 million of the C$33 million (US$31 million) deemed necessary, mostly for capital infrastructure upgrades. The line links Sault Ste. Marie with Sudbury, Ontario, over roughly 190 miles of right-of-way.
The short line has continued to operate under an interim agreement signed on June 17, which provided C$16 million to cover operating costs, but that agreement terminates August 14. If a subsequent agreement has not been reached by that deadline, Huron Central has said, it will abandon the line. CP has said it will not continue to maintain it unless another operator can be found.
Huron Central is a subsidiary of Greenwich, Conn.-based Genesee & Wyoming, Inc.