In this story from December 2009, former Town of Collingwood CAO Kim Wingrove wanted to see a business case established to investigate the future of the Barrie-Collingwood Railway.
CAO Kim Wingrove Wants To See Business Case Established
The Town of Collingwood and the Allendale Community Development Corporation (ACDC) have had an Operating Agreement with Cando Contracting Limited to run the Barrie Collingwood Railway (BCRY) since 1998. The ten year agreement expired December 31st, 2008, and was extended one year to December 31, 2009. Now, Collingwood Council has agreed to extend the agreement an additional 18 months to June 30, 2011.
In a staff report prepared by Town of Collingwood CAO Kim Wingrove, Council learned that car loads were down on both ends of the rail line throughout 2009 as a result of the economic recession. The report pointed out that under the terms of the extension, the increase in costs to maintain and operate the railway that is not being met with carload revenue will be absorbed by the municipal partners.
Collingwood CAO Kim Wingrove
In 2009, the Town of Collingwood provided $200,000 to offset losses. The report stated that there are also requirements through the Railway Safety Act and the Provincial Ministry of Transportation that will require further investment if the line is to be maintained. The report went on to say that recently, a Bridge Management Plan was completed and required repairs and maintenance are projected to be around $200,000 over the next five years.
Wingrove told council that further discussion is needed with the BCRY operator and the businesses that use the railway to see if a business case can be created to look into possible future growth opportunities.
In 2007, Canadian Mist was the one Collingwood industry that utilized the line, servicing with 91 cars annually. By the end of September, Collingwood Ethanol, Canadian Mist and Stayner Co-op utilized the railway line, with 155 cars being serviced. The estimated total for 2009 will be 109 cars.
The BCRY Railway services local industry between Barrie and Collingwood. As a low-density short line with low overhead, the BCRY has the flexibility to provide responsive customer service. Daily interchanges with CP Rail give local businesses efficient access to all North American markets.
The BCRY Railway offers a more economical way to ship when compared to trucking, especially if you are shipping long distances and hauling a large quantity of cargo. Trains have far greater weight capacities than trucks, and that translates into greater savings for customers. One train pulling 20 cars equates to 40 to 50 trucks.
The Barrie Collingwood Railway is unique and provides Collingwood manufacturers with a huge advantage of doing business in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada.