June 21, 1935, Vol. 25, No. 9 Judgments, orders, regulations and rulings (Ottawa) Page 165

Application of the Canadian National Railways for an Order granting leave to abandon the operation of that portion of its Harrisburg Subdivision in the Province of Ontario, between Brant County Siding (M. 6.9) and Paris Junction (M. 12.9)—a distance of 6-0 miles.



McLean, Assistant Chief Commissioner:

An application was made under section 165 (a) of the Railway Act, section 2, subsection 3, of the Canadian National-Canadian Pacific Act, 1933, and all other appropriate statutory provisions, for an Order granting leave to abandon the operation of the following line of railway, namely:—

A portion of the Harrisburg Subdivision in the province of Ontario, between Brant County Siding (M. 6.9) and Paris Junction (M. 12.9)—a distance of 6.0 miles.

The line in question was opened for operation in 1853. It was built under the Charter of The Great Western Railroad Company. The name of the company was changed to the Great Western Railway Company in 1853, which was amalgamated with the Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada in 1882, which also amalgamated with the Canadian National Railway Company in 1923. There has been no train service operated over and no maintenance done on the line since March 3, 1932. The territory involved is well served by the main highways on which there is heavy bus and truck traffic.

No exception was taken to the granting of the application. The only discussion which took place related to the question of what would be the condition of the highway crossings and bridges if the application were granted.

Counsel for the railway pointed out at the hearing that there were a number of bridges and one subway, as well as private farm overhead crossings, but suggested these would be dealt with satisfactorily between the railway and the various interests. His instruction was that in all cases the railway is junior. He admitted this placed an obligation upon the railway to maintain the road in some way, either by removing the bridges and establishing the road at the original grade, or adopting some other measure which would satisfy the municipal authorities.

A letter from Mr. F. Smoke, M.P., dated April 1, 1935, was read into the evidence. Reference was made by Mr. Smoke to the submission made by one of his clients that the bridge over the Grand river, if it could be retained and turned over to the municipal authorities, could be utilized very well indeed by the residents on the two sides of the river as a highway, and it would, if allowed to be used as a highway, be a very great convenience as there is no road over the river between Paris and Glenmorris.

Mr. German, Reeve of South Dumfries Township, stated that his municipality had no objection to the abandonment of the line, but it was felt that as a matter of safety of the travelling public, that these bridges should be dealt with when the line was abandoned.

Counsel for the railway stated that the representatives of his company were prepared to meet at any time with the municipal representatives in an attempt to adjust between the railway and the municipality the questions arising out of the bridges, crossings and subway left after the lifting of the tracks. He stated at p. 589 of the evidence:—I would not have any objection to this, that if we do not deal fairly, as the Township or the Town thinks, we ought to deal, they might make representations to the Board, and, although I would not admit jurisdiction to deal with it 'Amicus Curiae' we would hesitate before we would adopt an attitude which would not commend itself to the Board's judgment.

I am of opinion that order should go granting the application. I am not satisfied the Board has jurisdiction to make adjustments in regard to bridges and highway crossings a condition of the order. At the same time, I would suggest that in the event of lack of agreement between the railway and the municipalities in respect of the highway crossings and bridges concerned, the Board might hear representations made so that through the exercise of its good offices an adjustment might be arrived at,

June 21, 1935.

Concurred in by the Deputy Chief Commissioner and Commissioner Norris.

Railways: C.N.Rys.

Stations: Brant County Siding, Dumfries, Paris Jct.