Shortline railways receive provincial grants

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By Lisa Goudy

Southern Rails Co-operative is planning to use its provincial grant money for repairs.

“We typically use it for railroad infrastructure,” said Calvin Buekert, general manger of the company based out of Avonlea. “It’s nice that (the government) recognize(s) infrastructure needs help.”

The provincial government announced $700,000 in grants to 11 shortline railways across the province. These grants are though the Shortline Railway Sustainability Program, a 50-50 cost-shared infrastructure grant program established in 2008. Southern Rails Co-operative’s grant amount is $35,000.

“In order for me to get that $35,000, I have to spend $70,000,” explained Buekert. “It’s allocated on a per mile basis. The more track you have, the more you qualify for.”

Southern Rails has 45 miles of track that he estimated were worth a couple of million. Some bridges are worth between $6 and $7 million. Buekert added the company spends 90 per cent of what they earn, but repairs are always needed.

For more information, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.

Organizations: Southern Rails Co, Times-Herald

Geographic location: Avonlea

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