Urban development Project for the Ville-Marie district - The railways are essential to the operation of the Port of Montreal

    MONTREAL, June 12 /CNW Telbec/ - In regards to the project presented by
the mayor of the Ville-Marie district that proposes moving the Port of
Montreal railway tracks eastward of the Hochelaga marshalling yard; the
Montreal Port Authority stresses that this project would make it impossible to
continue port operations.
    The project presented by the mayor of the Ville-Marie district, which
seeks to provide access to the river, would cause the Port to lose nine tracks
of the Interchange, through which sixty percent of all goods transit. In
effect, the port needs several additional vital rail lines in this zone to
remain competitive and continue its growth.
    This plan would make the Port impossible to operate by eliminating the
effective and competitive management system in place for loading and unloading
wagons. The rail companies leave their wagons at this hub so that the port can
shunt them to the terminals for loading or unloading. The wagons are then
brought back to the interchange where they are handed back over to the railway
companies to continue on to destinations like Chicago and Detroit.
    The system in place represents one of the great competitive advantages of
the Port of Montreal and is one of the principal causes of its success. The
Port of Montreal's competitors have copied this operational model because it
makes it possible to deliver the goods in the simplest, fastest and most
effective way.
    The railway is the most environmentally friendly means of ground
transportation and is a key element of the sustainable development component
of the Port's strategic plan "Vision 2020",which includes a balance between
the social, environmental and economic aspects, while creating more than
41,000 jobs and $3.4 billion in annual, added-value economic benefits.
    In short, in addition to impeding the creation of thousands of new jobs
and the addition of $3.4 billion in annual economic spin-offs by 2020, the
project in question would make the expansion of the port impossible, would
harm the environment, would remove a key competitive advantage, and would
prevent the installation of additional tracks that are required in this zone.

    The Montreal Port Authority

    The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) operates the world's largest inland
port. It is a leader among container ports, handling 26 million tonnes of
cargo annually. In 2007, the Port of Montréal handled a total of
1,363,021 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units).The MPA operates its own rail
network, providing direct access to berths, and is linked to two major
railways and a highway system. It also operates a grain terminal and a marine
passenger terminal. All other terminals are operated by private stevedoring
firms. Through its activities, the Port of Montreal generates 18,000 jobs and
$1.5 billion in economic spin-offs.

For further information:

For further information: Jean-Paul Lejeune, Acting Director of
Communications, (514) 283-7050, Fax: (514) 283-0829, lejeunejp@pdminfo.ca;

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