Saskatchewan approves C$3M to improve North Central Rail system, says upgrades will support mills, local economy

REGINA, Saskatchewan , September 23, 2011 (press release) – The Government of Saskatchewan announced the approval of $3 million for the North Central Rail Line Ltd. (NCR) under the guidelines of the Community Development Trust Fund (CDTF) today in Meadow Lake.

"This is an excellent development that will support our mills and hundreds of jobs in our communities," Enterprise Minister Jeremy Harrison said. "Improving the rail transportation system will make sure we can continue to deliver our products to markets around the world and make sure our economy in Northwest Saskatchewan continues to move forward."

The funding will be used by the NCR to assist with the improvements and maintenance of the rail line pending the purchase of the Meadow Lake to Speers rail line from the Carlton Trail Railway Company (CTR). The Meadow Lake to Speers rail line will make transporting products to the main CPR rail line more cost-effective.

"Once the ownership transaction of the rail line is completed, refurbishment will be our number one priority," North Central Rail Line Ltd. Chairperson Ray Wilfing said. "This funding, with other funding sources, will help to ensure that the necessary improvements can be made to the rail line."

NCR was established in 2008 with the support of the 55 West Enterprise Region and the North Central Transportation Planning Committee - Rail Subcommittee, to negotiate the rail line's purchase after papers were filed by the CTR to officially discontinue the line.

"This project is a great example of what we can accomplish when we work together to keep Saskatchewan moving forward," Harrison said.

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