The decision by the St. Lawrence Parks Commission to move forward with the plan advanced by the local Save the Train 2.0 group was definitely the right one for this community. Save the Train 2.0 won out against 10 other groups and individuals who would have removed some or all of the display from our community. After two months of waiting, this news was good news, and well timed for the holidays.
While this announcement is good news, the reality is that it does not undo the fact the display has badly deteriorated. Nor does it appease the outrage raised in the community over the threat of losing this piece of local history. But in order to move forward and secure this display, everyone in South Dundas must [pardon the pun] get on track, and travel in the same direction.
As Save the Train 2.0 co-chair Gardner Sage said last week, “now the real work begins.” Indeed it does.
A ‘friends of’ group is being formed; negotiations will be undertaken with the SLPC; funds must be raised; and the selected group’s plan has to be implemented.
There are many “presents” the community can give to move saving our train forward now that we have won the bidding process.
The first of these presents is time and patience. Allow Save the Train 2.0 volunteers the time to begin implementing their plan, and be patient as they begin doing the work to which they have committed. Before any hammers can be swung, or paint brushes fly, accept that a lot of paperwork must be done.
The second gift is to offer help. Help can mean donating your time, your skills, or some money, to the cause of refurbishing and preserving our engine and cars.
The success of this local initiative will be completely dependent on the level of local support it receives. The SLPC is on record saying “it will not be financially responsible for the display.”
South Dundas residents, and heritage supporters in the region, made it clear they wanted to keep their train. They were very vocal about their opposition to the train leaving. It is now up to those same vocal volunteers to put actions to their words.