Société de chemin de fer de la Gaspésie

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Société de chemin de fer de la Gaspésie
Reporting mark SFG
Locale eastern Quebec
Dates of operation 1997–
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Headquarters Gaspé

The Société de chemin de fer de la Gaspésie (reporting mark SFG) (in English, the Gaspe Railway Company) is a Canadian short line railway located in eastern Quebec running 201 mi (323 km) from its interchange with Canadian National Railway (CN) at Matapédia in the west to the end of the line at Gaspé in the east, along the south coast of the Gaspé Peninsula.

Ownership[edit]

The SCFG is a non-profit company currently owned by the following four regional county municipalities (MRCs) which the rail line serves:[1]

1997 establishment[edit]

The Société de chemin de fer de la Gaspésie (SCFG) was established on 16 June 1997 by local MRCs to take over the ownership of a 50 mi (80 km) former Canadian National Railway (CN) rail line running between Chandler and Gaspé, this being the eastern half of the Chandler Subdivision.

The western half of the Chandler Subdivision from Chandler to New Carlisle as well as the remainder of the rail line west of New Carlisle to Matapédia, the Cascapedia Subdivision, had been purchased from CN by the Quebec Railway Corporation on 1 December 1996. QRC established a subsidiary company called Chemin de fer Baie des Chaleurs (CBC). SCFG sub-contracted operation of freight service on its line from Chandler to Gaspé to CBC, thus the entire 202 mi (325 km) rail line from Matapédia to Gaspé was operated as a single entity.

2007 purchase of CBC[edit]

In 2007, QRC sold its subsidiary Chemin de fer Baie des Chaleurs and the associated rail line from Matapédia to Chandler to the Société de chemin de fer de la Gaspésie.

The only exception to SCFG owning the entire line to the junction at Matapédia was that the wye in Matapédia and 1 mi (1.6 km) of the Cascapedia Subdivision east of the wye were retained by Quebec Railway Corporation. These tracks were transferred to its Chemin de fer de la Matapédia et du Golfe (CFMG) subsidiary.

2008 change of interchange partner[edit]

On 3 November 2008 CN announced that it was purchasing the New Brunswick East Coast Railway (NBEC) and its sister companies Chemin de fer de la Matapédia et du Golfe (CFMG), Compagnie de gestion de Matane (COGEMA), and the Ottawa Central Railway (OCRR) for $49.8 million (CAD) from the Quebec Railway Corporation.[2]

As a result of this purchase, CN became the SCFG's direct interchange partner at Matapédia.

SCFG sub-contracts track and signal maintenance as well as rail dispatch service to RailTerm. SCFG owns two former Canadian Pacific Railway locomotives and several work cars for providing freight service and track maintenance.

2009 infrastructure program[edit]

In 2009 the SCFG and its owners, the four MRCs, reached an agreement with the Government of Canada and Government of Quebec for several million dollars in funding for infrastructure improvements on the railway line between Matapédia and Gaspé.

This funding was targeted at improving track and bridge infrastructure to allow SCFG to carry heavier freight railway cars and to improve track speed for passenger trains.

In winter 2012 the rail line was closed after inspections revealed that several bridges required additional work and SCFG and the municipalities requested an additional $95 million over five years from the provincial and federal governments to complete the upgrades necessary to maintain track speed and freight car loading weight.[3][4][5] On May 14, 2012 SCFG reopened the Cascapedia Subdivision of the Gaspé line, which runs from Matapédia to New Carlisle, after 5 months of work. As of April 2013, the Chandler Subdivision, which composes the eastern half of the line from New Carlisle to Gaspé, is still closed for repairs.

References[edit]

External links[edit]