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Rail plan between Hamilton and Montreal to cut truck transport, green house gas emissions

The Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority, CN Rail and Hamilton Container Terminal have partnered on a new freight rail line that aims to improve supply chain capacity in the region. HOPA

A freight rail line between Hamilton and Montreal is boasting to cut down on truck traffic on local highways and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The direct intermodal rail service, set for regular weekday runs, is a multi-million dollar collaboration between the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority, CN Rail, and Hamilton Container Terminal.

Port Authority CEO Ian Hamilton says about $5 million has gone into equipment that’s modernizing the rail, land and, and other operations.

Via a new terminal at Pier 18 on the bayfront, the service has the potential to increase supply chain capacity in southern Ontario by offering a more cost-effective option for businesses that account for 20 per cent of southern Ontario-bound containers destined for Hamilton.

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Hamilton says the service could take as many as 200 trucks off of the road each day but will need Ottawa to chip in with a Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) facility to get there.

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A sufferance warehouse, a licensed short-term storage facility for imported goods not yet customs cleared, is an ask the port hopes will be approved and facilitated by the federal government to take on product coming from both coasts.

“There’s been a lot of resistance to it, ” Hamilton explained.

“I think we have to work harder in making sure that everybody at Transport Canada, Treasury … and the CBSA, of course, understands the value of … sustainable supply chains it has to create,” he said.

The rail service is hoping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 70, 000 tons per year by taking on supply chain movement through the GTA.

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