The last Orangedale Whistle

Genesee & Wyoming, owner of the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway, has been fighting two levels of government and Cape Breton’s business community for the right to shut down the Point Tupper-to-Sydney end of the line — virtually all of the railway in Cape Breton.

Speculation is G&W wants to pull up the CB track, much of which is in good shape, and use it to replace crappy, worn out rails on the Truro-to-Pt. Tupper end of the line. The company has been gradually hauling cars and engines from depots and sidings in Cape Breton, so they won’t be stranded when the track comes up.

About two p.m. today, what’s rumoured to be the last of those evacuees passed through Orangedale, sounding its evocative whistle for the last time. Here’s a link to the beautiful Rankin Family song that made it famous.

Residents of Orangedale gathered to witness The Last Train. One of them, my son Silas, caught the last mournful blast in his iPhone.