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It's not much to look at now, but the Trinity Loop used to be a popular destination for visitors to the Trinity Bight. According to owner Francis Kelly, he's been in negotiations with another party interested in purchasing the business. Packet file photo

 

The future of the Trinity Loop Park near Trinity may be secured soon.

According to Francis Kelly, he is currently in negotiations to sell the business.

Kelly, who lives in St. John's, contacted The Packet by phone early last week to say the possible sale was currently in the hands of his lawyer.

The Loop gained attention earlier this year when local railway buffs began wondering whether the historic section of track would be maintained, refurbished or scrapped.

Kelly built an enterprise near the loop in the 1980s, securing federal government funding to build an amusement park, near the railway loop.

The section of track that makes up the loop is original, and was the only section of railway track left on the island of Newfoundland after the provincial government agreed to take up all railway tracks in the province, under the Roads to Rail Agreement signed in the mid 1980s.

The loop was a key attraction for the park; Kelly built a small train to take visitors on a ride around the loop.

Over the years he laid additional track, enabling the small train to continue along the loop to circumnavigate the amusement park and wind up back at its starting point at the entrance to loop.

The amusement park hasn't operated for nearly a decade.

When Hurricane Igor tore through the area last September, much of the track - which Kelly had installed during the heyday of the amusement park - was ripped up.

The original loop remains mostly intact, although the forest has started to encroach on the rail and some of the wooden ties are beginning to deteriorate.

While the loop section of the track is designated as a provincial Heritage structure, the province's Department of Environment and Conservation has said it would be up to the owner of the property to apply for funding to carry out repairs.

Tourism minister Terry French said that department is not interested in taking ownership of the original loop.

Kelly could not say whether the person interested in buying the property would be interested in doing that. However, he did say the sale should be finalized soon and he would be able to offer more information after that.

Meanwhile, if the business is sold, the new owner will have to apply to the province to lease the land the buildings sit on.

According to Trinity North MHA Ross Wiseman, the land reverted back to the Crown more than five years ago after Kelly failed to make payments.

editor@thepacket.cab

 

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