New Rules For Abandoning Rail Lines
The province has brought in what it describes as rigorous new regulations in advance of Friday’s deadline for the railway to apply to abandon the Cape Breton line.
Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan says the regulations are wide-ranging and deal with all aspects of the abandonment process.
MacLellan adds one of the most significant conditions is a requirement for operator Genesee and Wyoming to determine the salvage value of the rail line minus the costs of any environmental cleanup and remediation.
He goes on to say the goal of the regulation is to protect taxpayers from being saddled with a possible clean-up bill.
The Railway will also be required to offer the Cape Breton line for sale and any interested buyers will have 30 days to respond.
If there are no offers, the province and municipal governments will be given the chance to make an offer.
If government doesn’t want the line, Genesee and Wyoming can then apply to abandon the line and will have to submit a detailed abandonment plan.
The company hasn’t run trains on the Point Tupper to Sydney line since December of 2014 because it says there’s not enough business to make it profitable.