NEW RICHMOND – The Société du chemin de fer de la Gaspésie will have to build another terminal land temporary to meet the needs of Cement McInnis. The reason for this? The inability of Transports Quebec to initiate repairs on two railway bridges belonging to him for the past three years.
This time, the trans-shipment centre will be built New, to the west of the railway bridges of Cascapedia-Saint-Jules, because these structures, according to the ministry, can’t support more than 10 cars loaded with cement per week, with a unit weight of 134 tons.
As the needs of Cement McInnis will rise to 40 cars per week in may, it will be necessary to transport it by truck to the cement to New, to avoid passing more than ten loaded cars in Cascapedia-Saint-Jules. This cement is intended for the outside of Québec.
“A report of the firm Norda Stelo do not recommend to spend more than ten wagons full week on the decks from Cascapedia-Saint-Jules before other inspections, monitoring and repairs are completed,” says Luc Levesque, director of the Société du chemin de fer de la Gaspésie (FMAS).
The first cement silo was built in New Richmond in June 2017 for the cement plant in Port-Daniel. New Richmond is located to the east of the bridges, Cascapedia-Saint-Jules, just as Port-Daniel. The rail traffic is towards the west to deliver goods to the customers.
This silo also stems from the lack of repairs of Transport Quebec, this time on three bridges located between New Richmond and Port-Daniel. The rail network runs through the middle of the complex of Cement McInnis.
“At New, we’ll start with the trans-shipment directly from the trucks to the cars. All cars exceeding the number of ten, will receive an early loading of 15 tonnes to New Richmond, where we have a balance law. The amounts placed in the wagons and trucks can be accurately measured. We probably won’t have the choice of building a silo, and also a New one but not at the beginning,” said Mr. Lévesque.
The development costs of the terminal of New, 450 000$ if there is a silo, and the additional costs of transport by truck, the equivalent of$ 1000 per car to be loaded, will be borne by Transport Quebec.
“It is a lot of money for a temporary solution. If Cement McInnis found another client asking for another 60 cars per week in July, I tell him what?” stresses the president of the Société du chemin de fer de la Gaspésie, Éric Dubé, noting that his company is losing significant revenue.
It does not include the principle of Transport Quebec estimates that 10 cars of cement, can spend a day, and it takes a week before you go other, “as if it were necessary that the bridge rests”.
Without criticizing Transports Québec, Luc Lévesque accurate anyway “that impose a frequency limit of loaded cars on a bridge is a first in the rail industry in North America”.
Blades made in the Gaspé peninsula by LM Wind Power, the transportation is quite light, must go by truck to New Richmond, where they are placed on cars. The trucks add$ 7 million per year to the note.
The plant in Port-Daniel, a project of$ 1.5 billion, was under construction when the former minister of Transport Robert Poëti stipulated dormancy of the axis Caplan-Gaspé, including Port-Daniel, in 2015.
The independent member for Gaspé, Gaétan Lelièvre, is unsettling, the slowness of the State to respond, especially since the announcement by the prime minister Philippe Couillard, may 5, 2017,$ 100 million for the rehabilitation of the railway.
“It is as if the left hand knows not what the right hand is doing. The government, through Investissement Québec and the Caisse de dépôt et placement, has invested $ 615 million$ in the cement plant, but does not provide a tool vital transportation link. It is inconsistent. The political will is not there,” he said.
The Société du chemin de fer de la Gaspésie belongs to the four MRCS of the region. It had the railway Matapédia-Gaspé until march 2015 before that, Transport Quebec takes control of it for the price of the debt of the FMAS, approximately$ 4 million. The FMAS continued to be the operator.
Despite the pitfalls, the FMAS has seen its traffic go from 1624 cars in 2015 to 2786 in 2017. This volume is expected to reach 4 000 cars this year.
Transport Quebec, which favours the replacement of the bridges, Cascapedia-St. Jules, does not explain its management of this file.