WHRC: Trail Group’s Complaint Denied by Provincial Board

TRAIL GROUP LOSES TWO-YEAR EFFORT TO OUST WINDSOR & HANTSPORT RAILWAY FROM ITS OWN TRACKS. RAILROAD'S PROSPECTS LOOKING UP.

23.December, Halifax NS – Nova Scotia’s Utility and Review Board has denied the complaint originally filed 03.Oct.2018 by the Uniacke Trails Association against the Windsor & Hantsport Railway, citing the UTA’s lack of standing before the UARB. The Conclusion of the 28-page decision document stated, “In the Board’s opinion, the UTA is simply not the proper party to make a complaint in relation to these matters” {2020 NSUARB 152 M08802}.

WHRC

UTA’s complaint asserted that WHRC was non-compliant with the Province of Nova Scotia Railways Act, and sought penalties including adverse abandonment of the rail line between Windsor NS and Windsor Jct. known as the Windsor Branch, and permanent suspension of WHRC’s operating license along the line. UTA advocates for converting the line to public recreational use.

WHRC acquired the Windsor Branch from CN in 2018. The entire WHRC line has been embargoed since 2011.

Gypsum comeback?

Central to UTA’s complaint was the long-term lack of train traffic, and the degradation of the line. The WHRC has historically served the Nova Scotia gypsum mining industry, which has been largely moribund for the last decade, but is beginning to show signs of renewal. Some Nova Scotia gypsum mines are upgrading to meet higher demand being driven by the North American residential building surge {global gypsum.com, 13.Feb.2020}.

Another vote of support for WHRC’s prospects can be read in the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal’s decision to preserve the rail line. DTIR’s CAN$390 million Highway 101 project incorporates new bridges and tunnels to route the new highway alignment around the rails.