CP upgrading tracks through North Dundas

Upgrades for Smiths Falls-Dorion main line – The Canadian Pacific Railway line between Smiths Falls, Ontario and Dorion, Quebec is being upgraded over 2020-21 with new singles and reduced to a single-track line. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

WINCHESTER – If you’ve driven past any part of the Canadian Pacific rail line in North Dundas recently, you may have seen some changes, including a track being removed.

Canadian Pacific Railway, which constructed and has operated the line since the mid-1880s, is upgrading a 100 kilometre section of its railroad line between Smiths Falls, Ontario and Dorion, Quebec. The line is part of the company’s Toronto-Montreal and transcontinental routes.

“CP is continuously looking for opportunities to improve its track infrastructure,” said Andy Cummings, media relations manager for the company.

The project involves removing one track of the Smiths Falls-Dorion line, known as the CP Winchester Subdivision, and installing four long passing sidings.

Those sidings are located between Merrickville-Kemptville, Inkerman-Winchester, Finch-Avonmore, and Apple Hill-Green Valley.

CP crews began working on the project in early 2020 preparing the site for the upgrades, which include considerable track-work and changes to grade-level railway crossings.

In addition to track-work changes, the railroad is replacing a nearly 100 year-old signal system with a new centralized traffic control system.

The decommissioned second track sections are being removed for reuse.

“CP plans to redeploy the quality track materials elsewhere on CP property,” Cummings said.

The company is also in the process of integrating and upgrading a newly-purchased rail line between St. Jean, Quebec and Bangor, Maine. “This project will create a safer, more efficient rail network,” he added.

Cummings did not provide a specific cost for this upgrade, or if existing customers on the line will see any impact to service.

The project is expected to be completed by early 2021.

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