CFS: 29-Mile QCR Rebuild To Improve Access

PR-Quebec to Rebuild 29.2-Mile Stretch of Defunct QCR Line. Operator CFS Expects 5000 Carloads by 2024.

09 December, Charny QC – Quebec Transport Minister François Bonnardel announced that the Province would rebuild a 29.2-mile section of the Quebec Central Railway’s (QCR) Lac-Noir (Black Lake) sector. The Minister pledged CN$8 million over three years to return the Vallée-Jonction — Tring — Thetford Mines run to service.

Chemin de fer Sartigan (CFS; Sartigan Railway) revivied QCR operations in 2014 on the QCR’s remaining functional track between Scott QC and Charny. CFS has steadily built business on its connection with CN at Charny/Joffre Yard, currently handling roughly 1,500 carloads annually, mainly of grain, feed, transload steel, and lumber, for eight regular and a several smaller customers, according to CFS principal Martin Laflamme.

Upper Rivier Ste-Laurance

Quebec Central Railroad in its heyday served the heart of Quebec. Operator CFS currently runs between Charny (CN interchange) and Scotts-Jnc. New track will bring rail service back to Thetford Mines. {Wikipedia}

Traffic waiting

By 2024, with the line reopened to Thetford Mines, CFS anticipates a five-fold increase in traffic. Laflamme added, “We have solid commitments, at least 5,000 cars annually, that justify the rehabilitation.”

The Province of Quebec acquired the QCR Vallée subdivision (Sherbrooke — Charny in 2007. In 2008 the Province also acquired the Vallée — Lac Frontiere section. Both roads were essentially abandoned.

Rebuild timeline

The project is scheduled to commence in Fall 2020 with upgrades of Vallée-Jnc’s east side rail yard, including the roundhouse and turntable. {LaFlamme conversation}

In early 2021 begins work to access back to the west side of Vallée-Jnc, and the opening of the transload yard to handle wood, steel, plastics. A warehouse for paper and other vulnerable commodities is contemplated for a later date.

In 2022-2023, the westward rehabilitation should reach Thetford Mines. Another transload yard will be established to handle steel, scrap, sand, LPG, and mine tailings. Demand for the tailings will account for much of the traffic multiplication. Currently Thetford Mines is only accessible by truck.

CFS 1828. {Chemin de fer Sartigan}