A railway that serves Cape Breton has told the Nova Scotia government it needs $2 million annually for the next five years to keep operating.

Percy Paris, the minister of economic development, says RailAmerica Inc. informed him the only rail service between Nova Scotia’s mainland and the island could close without the assistance.

He says he’ll bring the proposal to cabinet, but no decision has been taken yet on the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway’s future.

“If they don’t get the money I would suspect what will happen is ... that they will just let the spur (line) go, to wherever spurs go when they die,” said the cabinet minister.

The government recently ended a subsidy to a catamaran ferry service that travelled from Yarmouth to Maine.

Paris says he will do a separate assessment on the train service and decide whether provincial funds are required to keep it running.

He says the company’s current five-year agreement with the province is set to expire in a few weeks and the assessment on the proposal should occur in that time period.

“We are evaluating it now ... that will be in front of cabinet in the next few weeks,” he said.

Service
The railway runs 392 kilometres of track between Sydney and Truro and it interchanges with the Canadian National Railway at Truro.