Quebec’s Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility, Geneviève Guilbault, announced $440M in funding to reinstate the Quebec Central Railway between Vallée-Jonction and Thetford Mines on June 28, 2023. This will build upon previous work to restore the track south from Charny since the province acquired the line in 2007.
This project will involve rebuilding seventeen railway bridges, including the bridge over the Chaudière River near Vallée-Jonction, replacing more than a hundred culverts, and repairing forty grade crossings. Calls for tenders will be launched in the coming weeks, with work expected to be complete by 2025.
The line once ran to Sherbrooke and into Vermont, with daily passenger service until 1967. Although local advocates have discussed the eventual return of a passenger service, the primary purpose of the investment is to shift freight from road to rail.
Transport Action Canada and its regional partner organization Groupe TRAQ support investments to protect rail corridors and shortline railways, endorsing Quebec’s aim of using modal shift to cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce road wear from heavy trucks, and provide more economical transportation for industries.
Combined with the commitment to rehabilitate the railway to Gaspé, this brings Quebec’s investments this year to nearly a billion dollars.
Photo: Switch at Vallée-Jonction railway yard (source)