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      Thursday, August 24, 2017

When a federally regulated railway, such as the Canadian National Railway Company or the Canadian Pacific Railway Company announce their intention to discontinue operation of a designated grain dependent branch line, they must adhere to a formal abandonment process as laid out in sections 140-146 of the Canada Transportation Act.

The Canada Transportation Act outlines the process federally regulated railways must follow to discontinue or transfer operations of a branch line. This process requires that the railway offer the line they intend to discontinue for sale for ongoing railway operations. If no commercial sale is completed within the allowed time, the railway must offer to sell the line to local governments for a price not more than the net salvage value of the line.

Federal railways must make a "three-year plan" available to the public and this plan must be prepared and kept up-to-date on each line indicating whether they:

  • intend to continue to operate the line;
  • intend to transfer the line to a shortline company; or
  • intend to take steps to discontinue operating the line.

More information on this process is available at through the Canadian Transportation Agency.

For more information on guides on Net Salvage Value Determination, discontinuance of service and abandonment of provincially regulated railways under the Railway Act, contact Rail Services.

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