September 16, 1935 B.R.C. File No. 39310.22 (Otterville Sub. - Hickson to Tavistock Jct.) (Ottawa)

The Board of
Railway Commissioners for Canada

Application of the Canadian National Railways for an Order granting leave to abandon the operation of its Otterville Subdivision in the Province of Ontario, between Hickson (M. 49.10) and Tavistock Junction (M. 55.6)—a distance of 6.5 miles.

File 39310.22


Garceau, F. N., Deputy Chief Commissioner (Dissenting):

The second paragraph of the Assistant Chief Commissioner's judgment reading part as follows: "There is a dispute as to whether the change" (diversion of traffic) "is because of the nature of the service afforded by the railway or because of the competition to which the railway is subjected."

The volume of traffic necessary to permit a satisfactory operation of the railway, without competition, is not in question. The only reliable service is the railway. It is under the control of the Board and it can be coerced to operate the year around.

Transportation by trucks and buses is left to the goodwill of the carriers and, when the whole question of transportation either by highways, railways, water route or airways will necessarily be studied and placed under one control as to rates, regulations, service, etc., I do not believe it is in the interest of the public that the railways be allowed to scrap assets worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, which assets may be found essential when a national system of transportation is established.

Moreover, in this instance, subsidies have been paid by the provincial government and the municipalities. The extent of the obligations contracted by the railways on account of these subsidies, we do not know; but it is not preposterous to assume that these subsidies were granted not only for the building of the railway but also for its continued operation. Contracts or by-laws exist embodying these obligations.

For these reasons, which I have developed more fully in my judgment of the 12th instant, on file 39310.1, application of C.N.R. to abandon operation of it line between Farnham and Frelighsburg—(I refer to this judgment when it issues)—I would dismiss the application.

F. Nap. Garceau.

September 16, 1935.

Railways: C.N.Rys.