Genesee & Wyoming railway sale finalized: Focus turns to government on future of Sault-Sudbury freight service.

The Huron Central Railway has new bosses at the top of the pyramid.

The sale of short line railroader Genesee & Wyoming (G & W) to Brookfield Infrastructure and GIC of Singapore has closed.

The Darien, Conn.-headquartered rail carrier made the announcement Dec. 30.

G & W's Canadian subsidiary, Genesee & Wyoming Canada of Montreal, operates the Huron Central between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury, and the Ottawa Valley Railway, which runs between Sudbury, North Bay and Temiscaming, Que.

The US$8.4-billion transaction --first announced last July--had been on hold pending a review by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board.

Regulatory approval was finally granted this past fall.

The completion of the sale could have some bearing to as whether Genesee & Wyoming Canada continues to operate the Huron Central.

Back in October, the railway said it will drop service in early 2020 if it doesn't receive a $40-million combined subsidy from the federal and provincial governments for track maintenance and crossing upgrades.

Genesee & Wyoming Canada operates the Huron Central through a lease agreement on the 278-kilometre-long CP Rail-owned track. The line feeds mostly steel and forest products onto CPs main cross-Canada line at Sudbury.

One shipper told Northern Ontario Business that Genesee & Wyoming's drop-dead date is early March.

Joe Fratesi, who heads a regional stakeholder group lobbying for Ottawa and Queen's Park for infrastructure dollars to assist the railway, said the delays in the railroad's sale and the timing of the last fall's federal election postponed the transfer of government funding.

Meanwhile, the provincial government has been mum on a commitment to Genesee & Wyoming.

Management of a Sudbury industry services company, Diesel Electric Services, indicated they were approached by two provincial cabinet ministers about their...

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