Good News at the End of the Tunnel
St. Lawrence Parks Commission Announces Successful Submission from Local Community Group
December 11, 2019 10:00 A.M. | St. Lawrence Parks Commission
MORRISBURG, ONTARIO — The Honourable Bob Runciman, Chair of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission (SLPC), is announcing today that SLPC will engage in discussions with a local community group whose proposal is to keep the train in its current location.
The Save the Train 2.0 Group located in South Dundas under the leadership of Gardner Sage and Jim Becksted were the successful proponents in a process that saw a total of 11 submissions of interest from invested individuals, organizations and community members in obtaining the railway rolling stock.
"The SLPC is glad that we can provide this opportunity for local residents to keep the train in its current location and maintain it going forward," said Honourable Bob Runciman. "The SLPC board is hopeful that the strong community interest and support shown to find a way to keep the train, will result in long-term stability for the rail cars on that site," he concluded.
The Save the Train 2.0 Group’s primary objective will be to refurbish the train through cosmetic restoration and long-term maintenance to prevent further deterioration. It intends to form the “The Friends of the Grand Truck 1080” group that will register as a charitable organization.
“I am pleased that the SLPC has made the commitment to keeping the train in the Municipality of South Dundas. I am confident that the Save the Train 2.0 Group will do an excellent job of rallying the community to bring the train back to its former glory to preserve local history and a landmark in the region.” – Mayor Steven Byvelds, South Dundas
- The train relocated to the SLPC in the late 1950s, consists of a steam locomotive, baggage/refrigeration car and passenger car. While the train provides a representation of transportation in the region during the late 1950s, it is not of the same style as the historic “Moccasin” train that operated in Eastern Ontario.
- Due to the age of the train and its constant exposure to the elements for decades, it suffered weathering and deterioration with full restoration costs estimating to be at least $1.1 million.
- Expression of Interest posted July 22, 2019.
- Submission deadline October 4, 2019.
- No investments are required by the SLPC for this project.
About St. Lawrence Parks Commission
The St. Lawrence Parks Commission, an agency of the Government of Ontario, operates facilities in 16 municipalities stretching from Kingston to the Quebec border, including Upper Canada Village, Fort Henry National Historic Site of Canada (and a UNESCO World Heritage Site); Kingston Pen Tours, Skywood Eco Adventure, Crysler Park Marina, Upper Canada Golf Course, Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary and 14 campgrounds and beach day-use picnic areas including the Long Sault and 1000 Islands Parkway. To learn more, visit www.parks.on.ca.
- St. Lawrence Parks Commission announces difficult decision for divestment of train at Crysler Park near Upper Canada Village
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