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HomeNewsParks Canada Reduces Services At Big Chute Marine Railway Due To Staff...

Parks Canada Reduces Services At Big Chute Marine Railway Due To Staff Shortages

KAWARTHA LAKES-Parks Canada says as a result of staff shortages due to COVID-19 infections, Lock 44 – Big Chute Marine Railway services will be reduced until further notice.

Officials say while the current available staff complement continues to undergo training in the full operation of the site in Coldwater Ontario, capacity has been further reduced to transit larger vessels. Vessels that have unique hull configurations, a beam wider than 11.5’ and/or are required to “hang” off the back of the cart will face delays. The staff continues to transit as many vessels as possible that fall outside of the limitations.

Boaters headed to Lock 44 – Big Chute Marine Railway are encouraged to make alternate plans or slow their progress and enjoy the many other attractions along the way. Parks Canada estimates that a return to normal service should resume by the middle of next week.

Big Chute is the only one of its kind in North America and its operation is challenging and complex, where many variables need to be considered according to Parks Canada. Lifting large vessels completely out of the water on a 3-story high rail cart requires multiple experienced staff as well as numerous safety checks and balances. The type of vessel, gravity, water conditions and public safety are just some of the factors that operators must keep in mind – add in multiple hydraulic systems, and you can begin to understand the complexities.

“It is important to note that training must be completed in real-time, with real vessels – ranging from small paddlecraft to cruisers to sailboats with large and fixed keels.” said a statement from Parks Canada. “The health and safety of visitors and employees are of utmost importance to Parks Canada. We appreciate the public’s patience and understanding during this time, and we will endeavour to provide as much advance notice as possible of any changes.”



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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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