Communiqué de presse / Press Release - D’OÙ VIENT CE 50 millions? / From where this $50 Million Estimate?

Communiqué de presse / Press ReleaseLes Amis du train à vapeurFriends of the Steam TrainMAIS D’OÙ VIENT CE 50 millions?Pourquoi le secret relativement au train à vapeur? An English Message FollowsChelsea, le 21 mai 2014   Depuis quelques semaines beaucoup de gens disent que la réparation du chemin de fer emprunté par le train à vapeur coûterait 50M de dollars. D’où vient ce montant?  Il y a plus de 2 ans les Amis du train à vapeur estimaient selon des avis d’experts en chemin de fer, que les rails et ponceaux, nécessitaient un investissement d’environ 6 millions. Suite à une étude complétée 8 mois plus tard pour son compte, la Compagnie de chemin de fer de l’Outaouais (CCFO) demandait aux gouvernements 13M$ afin de réparer la voie ferrée et d’effectuer des rénovations aux voitures et autres équipements.  Le taux d’inflation étant assez bas en ce moment, il ne peut être blâmé pour cette hausse. La seule chose qui ait changé depuis les pluies diluviennes d’il y a 3 ans, est le dévoilement d’une carte de zones à risque de glissements de terrain. Les rumeurs veulent que ce soit le Ministère des transports du Québec (MTQ) qui ait fait le calcul de 50M$. Mais cette somme s’applique à la stabilisation des sols de la cote d’un mille, au complet, pense-t-on, car personne n’a vu d’études ou même de devis d’études.  La municipalité de Chelsea vient à peine d’être mise au courant et n’a pas vu ces études; pendant ce temps la construction domiciliaire est arrêtée et la circulation sur la 105 est à une voie à l’endroit où un trou béant s’est creusé, tandis que les médias et la population parlent d’arracher les rails et de faire une piste cyclable. Pendant plus de 100 ans le chemin de fer a apporté une stabilisation des sols mais aujourd’hui la construction domiciliaire et l’érosion en bordure du ruisseau Chelsea sont probablement une part du problème. D’ailleurs la voie ferrée n’est pas entre la 105 et la rivière à la hauteur du trou mais de l’autre côté, à l’ouest en contrebas. La CCFO a rencontré le MTQ à Québec en mars mais rien de concluant n’est sorti de cette rencontre. Le train fait partie de l’équation mais il pourrait rouler avec des réparations de 6 M$. Nous demandons alors au MTQ, une rencontre en région avec leurs experts, les nôtres et ceux de la CCFO, les 3 municipalités et la MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais, pour discuter du dossier et voir les études ou du moins les calculs savants effectués afin que tout soit clair pour tous. Nous le demandons publiquement car il y a eu un manque flagrant de transparence dans ce dossier. Nous voulons que les rumeurs cessent, que la sécurité publique soit une priorité et que notre train roule à nouveau.-30-Source : John Trent  819 827-1025            Nicole DesRoches  819 827-0357  Where does this 50 million quote come from?Why has Québec been keeping the Outaouais in the dark? Chelsea, May 21st, 2014   For a few weeks now, people have been saying that to fix the railway used by the steam train, it would cost 50M dollars. Where does this amount come from?  More than 2 years ago, Friends of the Steam Train estimated according to rail experts consulted, that it would cost $6M to fix the tracks and culverts. With its marketing study completed 8 months later, the Compagnie de chemin de fer de l’Outaouais (CCFO), was asking governments for $13M  in order to repair the tracks and renovate the cars and other equipment. The inflation rate is fairly low right now so cannot be blamed for this hike in price. The only things that have come out in the 3 years following the heavy rains of June 2011, are the demarcations of zones showing the risk of slides. Rumours remain that the Ministry of Transport of Québec (MTQ) is the organization that has come up with this calculation of $50M. But this sum covers the stabilization of the whole Mile Long Hill not merely the repairs to the tracks, so we think, because no one has seen the studies or tenders for the studies. The Municipality of Chelsea has been informed but has not seen any studies; meanwhile housing construction is stopped and cars are limited to one lane where a giant hole has opened up on the side of the 105 south of Chelsea and since, the media and people have been talking about ripping up the rails and building a bicycle path. For more than one hundred years the railroad stabilized the soils but today housing construction and erosion along the Chelsea Creek are surely part of the problem. Notwithstanding that the tracks are not situated between the 105 and the river at this point; the problem is on the other side of the 105, West and down from the hole at Chelsea Creek. The CCFO met with the MTQ in Québec City, in March but nothing significant came out of this meeting. The train is part of the equation but could be rolling for 6M$ worth of work. 

For all these reasons we are asking publicly for a meeting with the MTQ in the Outaouais with our experts, theirs, the CCFO’s, the 3 municipalities and the MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais, to discuss and see these studies or at least the calculations that have been made in order that all the facts be clear to everyone. We ask this publicly as there has been a grave lack of transparency pertaining to the subject. We want the rumours to stop, that public security be a priority and that the train runs again.

                                                                                      -30-

Source : John Trent  819 827-1025                                                                       Nicole DesRoches  819 827-0357 
 
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