Shunned bidder cries foul at mayors

Christian Nadon says his pitch to buy the doomed Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield steam train was handled in bad faith

Dave Rogers, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Gatineau businessman who offered to buy the Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield steam train has accused the three Outaouais mayors responsible for the tracks of bargaining in bad faith after he submitted a bid.

Christian Nadon, the caterer who made box lunches for the train and provided meals for the dining car, decided to make a bid for the business after he was forced to lay off 30 employees when the train owner, Jean Gauthier, announced the sale of the business in May.

Mr. Nadon said the railway-line owner, the non-profit Compagnie de chemin de fer de l'Outaouais (CCFO), headed by the mayors of Gatineau, Chelsea and La Pêche, never spoke to him before rejecting his offer with little explanation on Friday.

Offer to keep steam train in area rejected

[emphasis is my own - ed.]
Popular tourist attraction may end up outside Outaouais
Dave Rogers, Ottawa Citizen
Published: Monday, August 18, 2008

OTTAWA - The three municipalities that own the tracks for the Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield steam train have rejected an offer from a buyer interested in operating the train in the Outaouais, increasing the chances that the train will leave the region.

Des recommendations des Amis du train aux parlementaires

Madame, Messieurs,

Quand l'Association des Amis du train à vapeur a été
fondée il y a un an, elle s'est donnée deux fonctions
principales: d'agir comme mobilisateur et de véhiculer des
idées.

Politicians say they're stuck until province, federal government ante up cash to fix rail

Jean-François Bertrand, The Ottawa Citizen - link, photo
August 12, 2008

WAKEFIELD, Que. - The Outaouais will lose the steam train for good unless the mayors of Gatineau, Chelsea and Wakefield, the municipalities that own the railway track, change their way of thinking and act, warns John Trent, a supporter of the train.

During a heated public meeting last night at the Wakefield Mill, Mr. Trent, president of Friends of the Steam Train, shared his perception of the situation. He said the mayors are slow to act, have taken their time to meet a federal minister, have not spent a dime on track maintenance in the last 15 years, have inflated repair projections costs and have refused to accept responsibility for the infrastructure.

Les Amis du train veulent voir de la vapeur en 2009

Charles Thériault
LeDroit - link, photo

13 août 2008

Les Amis du train à vapeur demandent aux citoyens de faire pression sur les maires de Gatineau, Chelsea et La Pêche, afin de les forcer à agir plus vite pour s’assurer que le train Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield reprenne du service en 2009.

Le président du groupe, John Trent, est très critique de l’attitude des trois maires qui forment la Corporation du chemin de fer de l’Outaouais (CCFO), depuis le début de la saga du train à vapeur, au printemps dernier. M. Trent et son groupe croient que le budget présenté récemment par la CCFO pour assurer le retour du train à vapeur, est exagéré. Ce budget prévoit des réparations de l’ordre de 4,3 millions $ afin de rendre les ponts et ponceaux de la voie ferrée sécuritaires et aussi pour réparer les dégâts causés par un affaissement de terrain survenu en mai dernier, près de la voie ferrée, à Chelsea.

Seul un appui important des citoyens remettra le train sur les rails

* Rappel: Réunion d'information à l'Auberge Moulin de Wakefield, lundi 11 août à 19h30 *

Vous avez peut-être déjà lu les nouvelles les plus récentes. Les maires des trois municipalités qui forment le CCFO (propriétaire de la voie ferrée) ont tenu une conférence de presse pour annoncer que les études qu’ils avaient commissionnées avaient démontré que le chemin de fer n’était plus sécuritaire et que des dépenses additionnelles de $1,000,000 seraient nécessaires pour faire des études plus exhaustives lesquelles s’étaleraient sur des mois et pourraient entrainer des coûts de $8.4 millions en réparations. Il va sans dire que le train ne roulera pas cet été mais peut-être bien en 2009…..si les fonds sont là pour payer tout ça et si le train n’a pas été vendu à un acheteur lointain.

Tout à coup, un chemin de fer sur lequel ont roulé de lourds trains de marchandises pendant plus de 100 ans et un léger et lent train de passagers pendant les 15 dernières années n’est plus acceptable.

Chaque fois que les maires se prononcent, ils sèment la terreur chez les passagers potentiels et exagèrent la durée et les coûts associés aux améliorations et réparations nécessaires.

Nouvelles des Amis du Train à Vapeur

Chelsea, le 4 août 2008

La pétition des Amis du Train à Vapeur vise dans le mille

John Trent, co-président des Amis du Train à Vapeur a rendu public aujourd'hui les chiffres préliminaires de la collecte de signatures pour le retour en service du Train à vapeur Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield. "Les Amis du Train à Vapeur, leurs amis et les visiteurs de la Région ont été nombreux à signer les pétitions sur papier distribuées à Wakefield (La Pêche) et à Chelsea" de dire M. Trent. Le site web aussi a eu son lot de signatures.

The Train could be back in service in August

In the first three months of 2008 tourist season, Western Québec has lost about 40% of its tourist numbers. Most of this is due to the shutdown of the local icon, the Hull - Chelsea - Wakefield Steam Train.

Bonnes nouvelles: une offre d’achat est déposée

L’avenir du Train à vapeur Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield :
Bonnes nouvelles en perspective!

Gatineau, le 10 juillet 2008- Les propriétaires de la Compagnie du Train à vapeur Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield sont enchantés par les récents développements qui pourraient permettre au train touristique d’effectuer un premier voyage dès cet automne!

The Lowdown: Friends petition for Chelsea-Wakefield steam train service

By Nick Anning, The Lowdown Online

The Friends of the Steam Train don’t want the award-winning tourist attraction to die, and they don’t want the landslide in Chelsea’s southern end to delay its return to the tracks.

So, a petition has been launched, pushing for an early return to service of the steam train, even if it means starting from a site in Chelsea.

This dream will not come true while the train remains in the hands of the present owner though, and would require extensive discussions with the organization that manages the tracks.

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