Infrastructure Canada

Infrastructure Canada
Government of Quebec

Government of Quebec

November 26, 2009 11:56 ET

Governments of Canada and Quebec Invest in Future of Charlevoix Tourist Train

PETITE-RIVIERE-SAINT-FRANCOIS, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Nov. 26, 2009) - The Honourable Josee Verner, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Minister for La Francophonie and Minister responsible for the Quebec City Region, and Mr. Sam Hamad, Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity, Minister of Labour and Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale Region, are pleased to announce that the governments of Canada and Quebec will contribute up to an additional $5 million to rehabilitate and upgrade the Charlevoix railway. This announcement was made in the company of Mr. Francois C. Hebert, Vice-President, Network Strategies, Canadian National, and Mr. Daniel Gauthier, President and General Manager, Groupe le Massif. Together with the contribution of the railway operator, these new investments of $7.8 million will enable the completion of this work.

"Today, the governments of Quebec and Canada are working together to give momentum to the Charlevoix railway and thus stimulate the local economy and create jobs," said Minister Verner. "Our government is proud to contribute to the development of this important project. This investment will allow for the operation of a tourist train linking Quebec City and La Malbaie, in addition to generating important economic spinoff for the region."

"Already known for its exceptional scenery, the most enchanting recreation and tourism site, and a competition track without equal, le Massif de Charlevoix today realizes an important part of its development with the addition of its tourist train. Because the Capitale-Nationale Region offers quality winter infrastructure near the city, it has become a favourite spot to hold national and international sport competitions and even world championships. Today, by giving Massif de Charlevoix the boost necessary to attain its full potential, we go a step further in the Olympic march that we have committed to with Team Quebec," said Minister Sam Hamad.

Francois C Hebert, Vice-President, Network Strategies for Canadian National (CN) recalled the importance of ensuring the sustainability of this stretch of the track. "CN is proud to participate in this project and to contribute to the rehabilitation of the rail infrastructure. Everyone will benefit from this investment, from companies in the tourism industry to those in other sectors that are served by CN's freight train service," he stressed.

"Recent research by the Quebec Department of Tourism demonstrates great enthusiasm for getting the tourist train up and running," said Daniel Gauthier. "It will maximize access to the region and facilitate the influx of visitors from major centres, while the rail shuttle will encourage travel between Baie Saint Paul and Petite Riviere, in addition to offering a new type of mass transit to the residents of Charlevoix. For us, this represents a concrete gesture of sustainable development in environmental, economic and human terms," he explained.

The project mainly includes work on existing bridges and culverts, as well as an existing tunnel. These investments in structure are necessary for operation of the Charlevoix tourist train to attain the levels of performance and safety required to operate a passenger train.

Thus, 22 kilometres of rail will be replaced, 22 000 wood ties will be changed, 25 bridges will be worked on, and 86 culverts will be repaired or replaced. At completion, the route of the tourist train will be 136 kilometres long, of which 85 kilometres will be along the St. Lawrence.

The Government of Canada investment announced today for the rehabilitation of the Charlevoix railway will be provided under two funds. Close to $1.3 million from the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund will be used for this work. Also, following a real property transaction relating to two railways covered by the Canada - Quebec Agreement for the rehabilitation of short line railways, Canada will increase its contribution by $600,000.

Worth $4 billion nation-wide, the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund is part of Canada's Economic Action Plan announced in the January 2009 Budget. The Government of Canada has committed to invest $936 million from the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund to projects in Quebec.

The Government of Quebec contribution of more than $3 million stems from the Quebec infrastructure plan, le Plan Quebecois des infrastructures, which was expanded in January 2009 and now includes an investment of almost $42 billion to renew numerous Quebec infrastructure over the next five years.


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Project details

Repair work began last September and will be spread over an 18-month period. It is intended to rehabilitate the 144-km rail line between Quebec City and Clermont. The objective is to increase the bearing capacity, comfort, speed and security of the railway, mainly through replacement of rails and repairs to bridges, culverts and ties. Since September, the work schedule has been moved up, which has enabled the installation of some 5,000 ties and the start of certain programs, including those related to vegetation, clearances and bolts. An estimated $5 million of work has been carried out since September.

Tourist train

Running 136 kilometres between Quebec City and La Malbaie, of which 85 kilometres offers an incomparable waterfront panorama, the tourist train will provide an original and responsible experience that facilitates access to the various sectors of the Massif de Charlevoix. This destination and excursion train opens a window to exceptional landscapes throughout the entire panoramic route and provides stops at La Montagne, Petite Riviere Saint Francois, La Ferme and Baie Saint Paul, while contributing to the revitalization of the Cote de Beaupre and Charlevoix coastal villages.

Le Massif de Charlevoix

Le Massif de Charlevoix is a recreational and tourism project representing a $230-million investment between now and 2013. In addition to the Le Massif ski station, this original project will be created between Baie St Paul and Petite Riviere Saint Francois, in Charlevoix. The regional offer includes, among others, a tourist train and rail shuttle, close to 400 accommodation units, including a 150-room bioclimatic hotel and a 500-seat multi-purpose hall. The site is intended to become a true tourism laboratory experiment.

Source of Funds

Rehabilitation Canada-Quebec Agreement Infrastructure Total
assistance Initial Additional Stimulus Fund Contributions
for the CF Contribution Contribution (Canada) and
Charlevoix (2007) (Nov. 2009) PAIM (Quebec)
railway (Nov. 2009)
Canada $4,240,000 $600,000 $1,285,525 $6,125,525
(40%) (20,4%) (33.29%)
Quebec $2,827,020 $400,050 $2,625,000 $5,852,070
(26,67%) (41,67%) (33,81%)
CF Charlevoix $3,532,980 $499,950 $2,389,475 $6,422,405
(33,33%) (37,93%) (34,9%)
Total $10,600,000 $1,500,000 $6,300,000 $18,400,000
(100%) (100%)

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs,
    President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada,
    Minister for La Francophonie and Minister responsible
    for the Quebec City Region
    Rebecca Salesse, Special Assistant, Communications
    Office of the Minister of Employment and Solidarity,
    Minister of Labour and Minister responsible
    for the Capitale-Nationale Region
    Alexandre Boucher
    Press Secretary
    Groupe Le Massif
    Isabelle Vallee
    Public Relations Manager