Saskatchewan has reinstated its grant program for short-line railways, although at a lesser amount.
The recent budget allocated $530,000 for the province’s 13 short lines.
That compares to $900,000 available in the program before it was cancelled in 2017. The short lines used the money, which was cost-shared, on maintenance and track infrastructure upgrades.
“It’s expanded a bit to include track construction projects, in addition to track maintenance,” said highways minister Fred Bradshaw. “It’s going to be a minimum of $20,000 … up to $140,000 (depending on the size of the short line).
“It will provide grants for up to 50 percent of the eligible track material costs and construction costs.”
Bradshaw said he had heard from at least one company that planned to use its money for bridge repair.
Western Canadian Short Line Railway Association chair Perry Pellerin said having the program back again is good news and a good investment.
“Ninety-five percent of that money will go right back into the province.”