Short line railway Ottawa Central, Rideau Bulk and Canadian Pacific Railway will open a new warehousing and distribution centre to help relieve highway congestion in the Ottawa area.
Eight hundred carloads of forest products are now moving by rail from Espanola to OCR’s Walkley Yard on Albion Road. The traffic will be transferred there to truck for local delivery to Domtar’s E.B. Eddy plant in Hull, Quebec, and take 2,000 truckloads of freight a year off Highway 17.
“We’re already providing a variety of services for our customers’ outbound shipment requirements. That includes warehousing, trans-loading to rail or truck and a variety of related services for inbound and outbound shipments. We’re now taking commodity handling to the next level,” says James Allen, General Manager of OCR.
Products handled by the Ottawa Central Railway and Rideau Bulk for customers in eastern Ontario and western Quebec include a variety of dry goods, wood and lumber products, steel, construction equipment and computers. During the past 10 years, short lines have preserved and improved rail service on 9,750 kilometres of track that otherwise would have been discontinued by the major railways.
However, under the Canada Transportation Act of 1996, transfers to short lines outranked discontinuances by five to one, and enabled the creation of 35 new short lines in five years, compared to 11 in the prior 10 years.
“Since our business start-up in October, 1999, Ottawa Central Railway traffic has grown from 8,964 carloads to a planned 21,000 carloads annually, a 134 per cent increase,” said Allen.
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