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Saturday, December 15, 2012

A city, a spur and a whole lot of trouble

There is a conflict brewing in Oshawa.  The motor city is also home to an excellent industrial harbour which is seeing a new lease of life thanks to a new ethanol plant on the waterfront.  The federally-administered Port of Oshawa is being upgraded to serve large cargo ships and several are now docking at the harbour every week.

However, while the federal government supports the construction, residents of Oshawa and the municipal government are not happy and do not want the plant.  Among the concerns are the impact on the adjacent wetlands and the nearby public beach and park.  The plant is also set to bring increased heavy truck traffic to south Oshawa, an area with schools and houses, as well as heavy industry.  Despite the opposition, construction continues apace.

Stuck somewhere in the middle is CN, who will be offering rail access to the new plant.  In preparation for this new traffic, CN is currently rebuilding and upgrading their line to the harbour.  Abandoned for the past two decades or so, the remnants of the Oshawa Harbour/Wentworth Spur currently run from the CN Kingston Sub south across Wentworth Street before petering out just north of Harbour Road.  In the last few months, CN has finished building the new roadbed near Harbour Road and rail is waiting to be laid.  Further north on the spur, near Wentworth Street, the line is still in its abandoned state, offering an interesting photo opportunity.

Looking north along the Wentworth Spur

I don't know when the line is set to open, but I expect it will offer some interesting angles for railway photography when it does... unless trains run at night.

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