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Provincial funding keeps Sault-to-Sudbury rail line running

$980,000 from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation announced Nov. 8
huron-central railway
The provincial government has announced $980,000 in funding to keep Huron Central Railway's Sault-to-Sudbury line running. (File photo)

The province has announced $980,000 in funding to help keep the Huron Central Railway running between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury.

In a Nov. 8 news release, the province said it was “supporting a request by the railway,” by providing funds through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp. (NOHFC).

Without additional funding to help with track maintenance and federally mandated safety upgrades, Genesee & Wyoming Canada (G&W), the Huron Central’s parent company, has said it would halt service along the line by the end of 2018.

But the funding announced Nov. 8 is just a small portion of the $43.2 million in assistance that was being sought by a Sault Ste. Marie-led task force earlier this fall.

"Huron Central Railway serves key Northern industries, including steel and forestry,” Sault MPP Ross Romano said in the release announcing the funds.

“Working together with Huron Central to keep trains moving supports jobs and businesses here in the Sault and across the North.”

According to the province, more than 3,400 direct and indirect jobs depend on the continued operations of the railway, which is used by companies to move raw materials and finished goods, including the Algoma steel plant in Sault Ste. Marie, the EACOM Timber Corp. in Nairn Centre, and the Domtar lumber mill in Espanola.