Eastern Canada could lose rail service without help from feds: NDP

WATCH: New Brunswick MPs Philip Toone and Yvon Godin held a press conference Thursday in Ottawa to protest CN rail’s abandonment of a rail line that will deprive the country of east-west Via Rail passenger service.

OTTAWA – The federal New Democrats are pushing the Harper government to save a vital rail line in eastern Canada.

New Democrat MP Yvon Godin warns that, without federal help, communities east of Quebec will lose the already reduced service that Via Rail provides in the region.

CN Rail has announced it will abandon a 70-kilometre stretch of track between Miramichi and Bathurst in New Brunswick because it no longer carries freight on the line.

WATCH: New Brunswick MP Yvon Godin slams federal Transportation Minister in fiery House of Commons rant

Via Rail has said it can’t afford to buy the line, let alone maintain it.

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Godin says unless Ottawa steps in, passenger service from Quebec to the Maritimes will no longer exist.

The New Brunswick MP notes that CN has already pledged 30 million dollars to maintain the tracks, and the New Brunswick government has offered 25 million.

Claude Williams, New Brunswick’s minister of transportation and infrastructure, says the province has been in ongoing discussions in an effort to get Ottawa and Via Rail to spend money on the line.

But he says the province isn’t interested in buying that section of track.