Brant councillors again short-line rail plan

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A $6.6-million plan to improve the Cayuga subdivision rail line has gained the assist of councillors in Brant and Norfolk counties.

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Each councils have agreed to supply letters supporting the venture being led by the South Central Ontario Area Financial Growth Corp.

The company, generally known as SCOR, is a regional partnership that additionally consists of the counties of Elgin, Middlesex and Oxford. SCOR supplies planning and co-ordination for regional points and implements regional financial improvement priorities. It additionally identifies sources of funding for tasks and works with different ranges of presidency on financial improvement priorities.

Talking at a gathering of Brant council, Kimberly Earls, SCOR’s government director, stated the letters of assist are wanted to use for federal funding for the venture.

Owned by CN Rail, the road runs roughly 27 kilometres from St. Thomas, by means of Oxford close to Tillsonburg and into Norfolk. CN Rail introduced in 2020 that the road can be discontinued.

Following the announcement, SCOR needed to know if there was nonetheless a necessity for the road, Earls stated.

A subsequent survey of seven companies that make use of simply over 400 individuals discovered the lack of the rail line would translate right into a mixed lack of $8 million a 12 months in income. And it will lead to elevated transportation prices of about $1.45 million a 12 months.

“We determined that there was certainly advantage in searching for some enterprise improvement choices for this rail line,” Earls stated. “What we found by means of our research is that if we have been to assist continuance of the road in any type it will probably want some infrastructure investments and upgrades.”

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Advantages of maintaining the road open embrace maintaining present companies within the area, in addition to attracting new business. The road additionally would offer an environmentally and economically sustainable mode of transportation for native companies.

The road is vital to Brant as a result of it serves the IGPC Ethanol plant in Alymer, which will get grain and corn shipments from space growers, Earls stated.

She stated the following closest facility for corn is in Port Colborne.

“The road undoubtedly has some regional agricultural impacts.”

The road is being operated by GIO Rail from St. Thomas to Tillsonburg however upgrades are wanted to totally serve native companies. Repairs and resurfacing are wanted at most of the crossings and a few bridges additionally want consideration, Earls stated.

SCOR is trying to apply to the Nationwide Commerce Hall Fund to cowl 50 per cent of the wanted upgrades. Discussions for assist are additionally being held with varied provincial ministries and SCOR hopes to get some help from municipalities as properly.

Earls stated that companies that might profit from the upgraded rail line have dedicated to offering monetary assist.

Vball@postmedia.com

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