A Chelsea, Quebec man’s dream to start an interprovincial railway system through West Quebec and Eastern Ontario could be nearer to reality.
Joseph Potvin, of Mobility Ottawa-Outaouais: Systems and Enterprises Inc, met with mayors from six communities flanking the Quebec-Ontario border Sept. 2 to work on a proposal detailing a three-line rail service from Wakefield to Smiths Falls, Arnprior to Montebello and Bristol to Casselman.
The 400-kilometre rail system would intersect in Ottawa on existing railway lines.
Potvin said the company has $25,000 in investor-supplied seed funding for the project. They’re creating the “mOOse Consortium,” a collaboration among private and public sectors in the communities to start the rail service.
VIA Rail Canada has agreed to share its tracks to Smiths Falls and Casselman, according to Potvin. The company is seeking current train transportation data from the communities for cost estimates.
La Peche Mayor Robert Bussiere cautioned against the system, pointing to a commuter bus system that was tried in La Peche only to fail due to a lack of users.
“I’m all for it in principle,” Bussiere says in a press release. “But the actual viability of a passenger rail service remains to be seen.”
The company plans to have the system running by 2012.
For more information, visit www.letsgomoose.com.