(Photo retrieved from Pexels).

CN may discontinue Hawkesbury-Vankleek Hill-Glen Robertson section of rail line

CN has confirmed changes are coming to the Alexandria subdivision which services Eastern Ontario.

Specifically, it has submitted a 30-kilometre stretch of rail line running from Hawkesbury through Vankleek Hill to Glen Robertson Road in North Glengarry for “potential discontinuance.”

CN first notified the Town of Hawkesbury of the possible change in a letter which stated the line above is one of many within the Alexandria subdivision where, “traffic volumes… have fallen dramatically in recent years and are now far below levels needed to maintain the lines.”

The Review asked CN for statistics on the traffic reduction but as of writing, none were provided.

So, what now?

Well – you could be the new owner of the line! But you will have to wait for at least a year.

With the line now submitted for discontinuance, CN must wait 12 months before any moves to divest itself of the line. After 12 months, CN can start advertising the rail for sale for a minimum of six months. If there aren’t any takers, then it must offer the line to all three levels of government with a sale price no higher than the salvage value of the line. After three to four months, CN can start dismantling the line.

In this case, rails and ties are removed, but culverts, ridges and the rail bed are left in place.

Justin Bromberg, United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) Chief of Staff and Communications Manager, said in an email that the UCPR thought it was still too early to make a decision about taking on the rail line.

We will be working with our MP to learn more about the process and we await more details from CN,” Bromberg said.