Save the Train 2.0 submits proposal

Photo of Grand Trunk Railroad 1008 at Aultville station. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

MORRISBURG – The deadline for proposals to take over the Grand Trunk train display at Crysler Park was October 4th and at least two groups have made a pitch including local group Save the Train 2.0.

The St. Lawrence Parks Commission began the disposal process of the century-old steam engine, baggage car, and passenger car after a consultants report said that restoring the display would cost over $1.1 million.

Save the Train 2.0, spearheaded by co-chairs Jim Becksted and Gardner Sage submitted their bid on October 2nd electronically, and in person to the SLPC offices at Upper Canada Village.

Included in the Save the Train 2.0 proposal are several letters of support including the Municipality of South Dundas and the Township of South Stormont.

One other group was to submit an expression of interest, the City of Brockville. The Recorder and Times reported that Brockville’s Tunnel Committee was interested in the Grand Trunk steam engine if the local group (Save the Train 2.0) was unsuccessful in its bid.

When asked by The Leader how many proposals were received, SLPC communications officer Krista Doyle said in a statement that “at this time, the number of submissions received and what groups submitted is confidential.”

She said that the SLPC was in the early stages of preparing the evaluation process and that information on the review process will be released “in the coming weeks.”

Follow-up questions about time-lines, who is in charge of the disposal process, and who makes the final decision were not answered by deadline.

While the decision process and timelines are unknown, the Save the Train 2.0 co-chairs were grateful for the support they have received with that group’s proposal.

“I can say that we are very proud of the case we have made for the preservation of this piece of history,” Sage said on the group’s Facebook page. “We couldn’t have done it without all of the support we have had from the community.”

Becksted echoed Sage’s comments. “Thanks so much everybody. It is truly heartwarming for us to see and read all your support, far and near.”

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