News Wire: Feds say they’ll help restore Hudson Bay rail line

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Posted by Brian Schmidt on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 4:05 PM

CHURCHILL, Manitoba — Canada’s federal government is willing to help restore rail service on the Hudson Bay Railway to Churchill, agricultural news source Commodity News Service Canada reports. The rail line, which is currently owned by O...

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2017/09/12-feds-say-theyll-help-restore-hudson-bay-rail-line-to-churchill

Brian Schmidt, Associate Editor Trains Magazine

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 6:12 PM

Good news!

The Hudson Bay line will be rebuilt...soon...and fast.

The optics were never good for the Feds if they let this line disappear. 

They were hoping to put a scare into OmniTrax and get them to pony up but voices of reason and concern plus it already being September meant the logjam had to be broken up and right quick.

The Canada Federal Government did an about face and is now willing to pour in 50 million right away and 500 million over ten years. 

Only stipulations are that OmniTrax sells it for a reasonable price and that the operator be ok by the First Nations folks involved.

It is not a big stretch to fiqure out it is a First Nation group already lined up in place to buy it, they were just waiting for the Federal assistance and assurances with the repairs. 

Now all that uis needed and better happen is for the Manitoba Government to step up by clearing hurdles, green lighting it all and get out of the way.

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Posted by Convicted One on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 6:15 PM

How many months per year is Hudson Bay open to shipping? Assuming they still do that.

 

 

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Posted by lenzfamily on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 6:21 PM

Miningman

Good news!

The Hudson Bay line will be rebuilt...soon...and fast.

The optics were never good for the Feds if they let this line disappear. 

They were hoping to put a scare into OmniTrax and get them to pony up but voices of reason and concern plus it already being September meant the logjam had to be broken up and right quick.

The Canada Federal Government did an about face and is now willing to pour in 50 million right away and 500 million over ten years. 

Only stipulations are that OmniTrax sells it for a reasonable price and that the operator be ok by the First Nations folks involved.

It is not a big stretch to fiqure out it is a First Nation group already lined up in place to buy it, they were just waiting for the Federal assistance and assurances with the repairs. 

Now all that uis needed and better happen is for the Manitoba Government to step up by clearing hurdles, green lighting it all and get out of the way.

 

I'm with mining man. It ultimately was a political decision as it inevitably would have been. Churchill does have value as  a transshipment point for sea lifts to the North in addition to its tourism industry. First Nations considerations also loom large in northern Manitoba.

Indeed it is good news.

Charlie

 

 

 

 

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Posted by lenzfamily on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 6:23 PM

Convicted One

How many months per year is Hudson Bay open to shipping? Assuming they still do that.

About four months depending on the year IIRC. 

 Charlie

 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 8:27 PM

It seems when the Canadian Wheat Board was privatized and markets were opened up, the port of Churchill and its rail line lost commercial viability.  The government finally realized that the operation would have to be a ward of the state for the forseeable future.

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 9:54 PM

It is not just about the Port...there are dozens and dozens of small isolated communities and Native Reserve's along with their bands that are 100% dependent on the railroad for food, clothing, needs, transportation and employment. The people in Churchill were paying $100 for a bag of dog food once the trains stopped. These needs cannot be handled by air. There is no road, even an ice road is too dangerous and has a short season of weeks. The weather is extreme and the railroad has got through in the worst of it.....for the most part. 

The tourism industry is a big part of this as well. Polar Bears and Narwhal Whales which are easily seen and accessible. 

There are serious scientific monitoring stations, environmental, weather and Arctic science. 

There are important Military posts, that do their own thing, listening posts, Arctic movements, secret stuff, including you fellas, the Americans. With the Chinese sailing huge ships through the North West Passage and their demands to be included in the Arctic with a Port and science station set up on a remote island in the Canadian Arctic, plus the recent claims by Russia and all their shenanigans up there it is becoming vital to keep a keen eye on it all. Most of that is serviced by air but the railroad has always come in very handy for a lot of supplies. 

Finally it is a stategic port not just to Canada but all of North America. It is the quickest shipping route to Europe and know one can predict the future and what role it needs to play. It was a terrific secret weapon in WWII. This all goes way beyond Capitalism and making a buck..it has a role to play for sure, but there are many cards that trump that in this endeavour. 

It has been railroading and shipping for 90 years. It may have been started by a bunch of cheesed off prairie farmers but today its role is vital as is the railroad. 

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Posted by Convicted One on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 4:36 PM

Miningman
Finally it is a stategic port not just to Canada but all of North America. It is the quickest shipping route to Europe

 

That's kinda what was driving my curiousity.  I recently did some very interesting reading about the "York Factory Express" and the role it played in connecting the west coast to Europe.  Don't know why this never caught my attention before (probably covered much more thoroughly in the Canadian schools than it was down here), but it never, ever occurred to me that Edmonton,of all places was a key portage in connecting the west coast of Oregon to Europe.

 

 

The Saskatchewan river, totally unknown to me prior, being way more than I ever expected was up there.   

In researching various maps, I noticed the HBRR routing, and pretty  much suspected that it was an evolutionary result of the need for a link up there.

Thinking about taking my next vacation treking around the Athabasca Pass.

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 8:21 PM

Convicted One- Yeah sure come on up! You can get a very authentic frontier experience, NorthWest style. Not a put-on or re-creation..the real deal. Bring fishing gear. Favourable exchange rate too. 

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