Moose Consortium plan for passenger rail
Federal Agency forces Ottawa to decide on future of Prince of Wales Bridge
A February 16 Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) decision is breathing new hope into Moose Consortium which wants to develop passenger rail service in Canada's National Capital Region.
The company suffered a noteworthy setback when the City of Ottawa dismantled a small section of the Ottawa River Line (ORL), between the Bayview Station and the Prince of Wales (POW) Bridge in 2016.
While railways are provincially regulated, they fall under federal jurisdiction when they cross provincial boundaries, which is why Moose asked CTA to intervene.
The information received by the CTA indicated that Ottawa was constructing a permanent structure on the ORL railway right of way that would create an obstruction and prevent railway operations over the POW Bridge into and from Gatineau.
On February 17, 2017, City of Ottawa staff confirmed to Agency officials that a portion of the ORL had been removed to construct the new west side entrance to the Bayview Station and, as a result, the ORL was obstructed at the Bayview Station.
Moose, looking to operate its train service on existing tracks and rail bridges, would rely on the interprovincial POW Bridge to bring passengers from West Quebec to and from Ottawa.
The CTA stated in their findings that Ottawa did not comply with the regulations and ordered Ottawa to either take steps to restore a portion of the ORL including the POW Bridge, to a point where it could be made operable within 12 months or permanently discontinue it. The City must inform the Agency by April 30, 2018 whether it will proceed with option 1 or 2.
Ottawa, which plans on using the bridge - which is in need of costly repairs - announced it was reviewing