Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Huron Central Railroad nears short-term reprieve

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Ontario has moved to assist short line Huron Central Railroad in the short term, providing funding to continue operations between the railroad’s headquarters city of Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury, and averting a shutdown of the short line set for August 15.

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Member of Parliament David Orazietti said a letter written to Sault Ste. Marie Chief Administrative Officer Joe Fratesi noted that an applicationto the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp. would be welcomed and supported if two key rail customers, Essar Steel Algoma and Domtar, also become involved in the short-term financing plan.

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"NOHFC has indicated they would welcome an application and be supportive of considering short-term financing to help Huron-CentralRail," Orazietti said Monday. "I would expect an application will come forward and I know that every effort is being made to meet that Aug. 15 deadline."

Funds would address critical short-term infrastructure improvements to assure continued operation. Long-term funding for the shortline, a subsidiary of Greenwich, Conn.-based Genesee and Wyoming, Inc., remains unresolved. Huron Central has said the short line needs more than C$33 million (US$30.3 million) in upgrades to make it feasible.