Friday, March 26, 2010

Ontario posts funds to aid beleaguered short line

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Huron Central Rail will be provided with C$15 million of provincial money for its infrastructure upgrades to keep the 186-mile short line operational, as part of the 2010 Ontario provincial budget unveiled Thursday.

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“The provincial-territorial base funding agreement has been signed by the province and the $15 million for Huron Central is in the budget,” said David Orazietti, member of Parliament, who represents Sault. Ste. Marie, Ontario, Huron Central’s hub city. “This is absolutely great news for Sault Ste. Marie and businesses that rely on the rail line to deliver their product,” he said.

Added fellow member of Parliament Tony Martin, “It's good news. That's what we were looking for in the budget and now Huron Central can move forward and this will help our industries and communities.” Martin said the provincial funds likely would trigger matching funding from the federal government.

The announcement comes just days before Huron Central’s self-imposed deadline that the railroad said would prompt it to start winding down operations during the spring and summer.

Huron Central is operated by Genesee & Wyoming Canada Inc., the Canadian subsidiary of Greenwich, Conn.-based Genesee & Wyoming, Inc.