The fall of all work on the Gaspésie railway

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The fall of all work on the Gaspésie Railway

By 2022, work is still to be done on ten bridges located between Caplan and Port-Daniel-Gascons, including this bridge located near Port-Daniel station. Its rehabilitation will cost 12 million dollars.

The Ministry of Transport has launched in recent months about ten calls for tenders to complete the rail to Port- Daniel-Gascons.

Recently, major contracts have been awarded. This is particularly the case for the replacement of the Port-Daniel-Gascons bridge. Others, such as the relocation of the railway line in Port-Daniel-Gascons, are about to be.

All of this work should enable Transport Québec to meet the planned schedule, namely that of a completely restored rail until Port-Daniel-Gascons in 2024.

The two Port-Daniel-Gascons projects alone will cost $28 million.

The work to replace the Caplan-Saint-Siméon bridge has been underway since the beginning of the summer. The contract was awarded to a Quebec company for an amount of $8 million.

The ministry is also investing $9 million to repair a bridge over the Shigawake River.

Éric Dubé is president of the Société de chemin de fer de la Gaspésie, prefect of the MRC de Bonaventure and mayor of New Richmond.

President of the Société de chemin de fer de la Gaspésie (SCFG), Éric Dubé, estimates that it will be nearly 100 million dollars that will have been invested by the Ministry of Transport in the refurbishment of the rail by the end of the year.

The next step will be to know what the timeline will be for Gaspé, says Mr. Dubé. He recalls that in early 2023 normally all the necessary studies should have been carried out and that Quebec should then be able to give a timetable.

Mr. Dubé expects the Ministry of Transport to proceed in the same way, either by setting the list of work to be done and the times when calls for tenders will have to be launched.

According to the president of the SCFG, over the past two years, there has been, on the part of Quebec, better monitoring of the entire project.

Over the next few months, the SCFG intends to resume discussions with VIA Rail for the resumption of passenger transport to New Richmond. We'd be able to get a passenger train back at very short notice to New Carlisle. We are going to put a lot of pressure on the government to also work so that VIA Rail can return as quickly as possible on the day when the rail will be repaired until then.

One of the challenges for the Company will be to make up for the departure of a major client. Starting next summer, LM Wind Power will be able to transport its wind turbines by boat as soon as the construction of the road that will link the Augustines industrial park to the port of Gaspé is completed. We thought it was going to end long before , comments Mr. Dubé.

The wind turbine blades produced in Gaspé are transported by train from the New Richmond station, but this contract will end next year (file photo).

The Société de chemin de fer de la Gaspésie, which must renegotiate the renewal of its operating agreement with the Ministry of Transport, indicates that discussions are underway with the ministry.

We should have something to announce at the beginning of 2023 also to ensure the sustainability of the railway company, says Éric Dubé.

The objective for the SCFG is to ensure that it will be able to retain its employees until the rail is fully functional to Port-Daniel. The Company will then be able to put an end to transshipment by truck between Port-Daniel-Gascons and New Richmond, which will reduce its operating costs.

The service contract with the ministry expires next March.

Report on Gaspé rail transport: between concerns and support
The Société du chemin de fer de la Gaspésie is doing better after two difficult years
Repairing the road de fer: “Things are going well” between Caplan and Port-Daniel

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