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BREAKING: Genesee & Wyoming to continue operating Huron Central Railway

Genesee & Wyoming has reached an agreement with provincial, federal governments to continue service
File photo. James Hopkin/SooToday

The Huron Central Railway is no longer at risk of shutting down.

Genesee & Wyoming Canada (GWCI) announced today that it has suspended plans to terminate operation of the HCRY, after negotiations with both the provincial and federal governments.

The threat of closure for the HCR has been an ongoing issue since 2009.

GWCI had previously announced it would cease HCR's operations on Dec. 18, 2020. An extension was agreed upon, expiring June 30, 2021.

In a press release issued this afternoon, Genesee & Wyoming said the recent federal budget included the renewal of the National Trade Corridors Fund, delivered through Transport Canada, with renewed criteria. The renewed criteria, the rail-freight company says, will remove barriers that had previously prevented short line railways, like the HCR, from eligibility.

“Renewing the National Trade Corridors Fund with more inclusive program eligibility will be critical for our sector and the communities we support. The large employers served by HCRY across Northern Ontario can be encouraged that this federal funding program will soon be available for project application," said Rick McLellan, president of Genesee & Wyoming Canada.

The company says it will continue to work with both levels of government to secure the necessary infrastructure investments to sustain HCRY’s operations and the jobs of its 43 local workers.

The HCR freight line runs between the Sault and Sudbury, its operations crucial to local industries such as Algoma Steel, Domtar's pulp and paper plant in Espanola and EACOM's sawmill operation in Nairn Centre.