News / Ottawa

‘Our bridge is going to be for our train,’ says Watson

The mayor once again dismissed the idea of a private rail operator on the Prince of Wales Bridge.

Workers fence off the entrance to the Prince of Wales bridge over the Ottawa Rideau on Sept 20, 2016. The city says it is unsuitable for rail use

Emma Jackson / Metro Order this photo

Workers fence off the entrance to the Prince of Wales bridge over the Ottawa Rideau on Sept 20, 2016. The city says it is unsuitable for rail use

The city is not interested in pursuing an arrangement that would see a third-party operate train service across the Prince of Wales Bridge.

A memo sent to council last week by John Manconi, general manager of transportation services, said that the city might be willing to work “in a co-ordinated and consultative manner” with an outside agency or organization to provide train service across the bridge.

Joseph Potvin, executive director of the MOOSE Consortium, who have been involved in discussions around train service across the bridge since 2011, said that the Consortium “looks forward to picking up that discussion again with the City of Ottawa.”

In 2013, MOOSE wrote to the city and proposed to repair to the bridge — which the city now estimates will take three years — in exchange for the right to run trains on city-owned tracks.
Mayor Watson dismissed that idea again.

“Our focus is our own rail system,” he said. “I don’t think MOOSE has the experience, credibility, or financing to do what they want to do. … Our bridge is going to be for our train to go over to Gatineau.”
 

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