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The next meeting of Division 295 will be held on July 11th at 19:00.

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Published: September 11th 2009
Source: By Mark Hoult - The Community Press
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Havelock-Belmont-Methuen – The CP rail lines between Peterborough and Havelock will be included in the environmental assessment process in preparation for the improvement of the rail line between Peterborough and Peterborough County and Toronto, Reeve Ron Gerow said last week.

“This is good news for Havelock-Belmont-Methuen,” he told council following a meeting with MP Dean Del Mastro and Ministry of Transportation officials in Peterborough.

The long-planned project to upgrade the rail lines for passenger rail service between Peterborough and Toronto “is moving forward,” said Gerow, who is also the warden of Peterborough County. “They are at the point now where they are putting the finishing touches on a number of pieces,” he said, noting that CP and CN officials have been meeting in Toronto about bringing the two systems together at an interchange in the city.

Gerow said there will be a completely new rail line between Peterborough and Havelock, with a new rail bed and new welded rails.

The new rail lines will be of immediate benefit for freight traffic, which will be able to travel at least 60 miles an hour, he said. But the lines will be capable of carrying rail traffic up to 100 miles an hour, and that opens up new possibilities for the municipality, Gerow told council.

“Very likely, if it can be justified, the passenger rail service could be brought back to Havelock. It’s all good news, all very positive.”

Gerow said the cost of improving the rail lines between Toronto and Havelock is estimated at between $190 million and $200 million. The decision to begin the rial improvement process “ends the speculation and supposition,” Gerow said, noting that more information on the project and the environmental assessment process will soon be made available to the public.

Word that the rail line improvement project is going ahead comes more than a year after Del Mastro announced rail infrastructure funding that was expected to lead to the construction of a high-speed passenger rail line between Peterborough and Toronto. At the time of the announcement Del Mastro said the special transit initiative “is the single most significant federal infrastructure investment into our area since John A. MacDonald committed to the completion of the Trent-Severn Waterway.”

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