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Councillor Kelly Urges CN to Refrain from Pulling Up Commuter Rail Tracks
(Friday,October 6/2000) -Halifax Regional Councillor Peter Kelly has sent a letter to CN Rail Sr. Vice President, Keith Heller, expressing concern over CN's announcement this week that they will begin immediately to tear up sections of rail between Halifax and Windsor.
The rail lines are viewed as a vital component of HRM's proposed new commuter rail system, which has been cited as a potential solution to the region's growing traffic woes.
Councillor Kelly, Chairman of HRM's Commuter Rail Sub-Committee, which has been studying the possibility of implementing commuter rail for the past several years, states in his letter that CN's actions appear to be contrary to an agreement reached recently with the municipality. The company had said it would agree to preserve the rail bed until HRM completes a comprehensive regional transportation study.
In a letter sent to the municipality dated September 27th , CN advised that even though the rail company would remove some sections of a second track on the rail line between Halifax and Windsor Junction, it would agree to preserve the entire rail bed for the next year in order to provide the municipality a reasonable time frame in which to complete a major commuter study.
CN had initially imposed a September 1st deadline for the municipality to determine whether it wished to make use of the tracks no longer required by the rail company.
Councillor Kelly sent a new letter back to CN on Thursday, after the company announced its intent mid-week to begin removing large portions of the second rail line which runs across the Halifax Peninsula and through Bedford and Sackville. Councillor Kelly stressed in the letter that CN's recent correspondence with the municipality appears vague and unclear, and contrary to HRM's request to save the tracks. In his closing paragraph, Mr. Kelly has urged the company to refrain from removing any rail pending the next Halifax Regional Council session which is scheduled for Tuesday, October 10th.
A meeting of the Commuter Rail Subcommittee has been called for Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. with the intent of further discussion on the issue at Council later in the day.
- 30 -Contact:
Councillor Peter Kelly
(902)490-4050 or (902) 835-6097