2019 Hudson Bay Quest Has Impressive Line-up

 

Hudson Bay Quest 2014. Brad Josephs photo. Churchill, Manitoba

Hudson Bay Quest 2014. Brad Josephs photo.

Hey dog mushing fans..the Hudson Bay Quest is back this March with a vengeance following the repair and reinstitution of the Hudson Bay Railway. Churchill cannot wait for the first full-fledged passenger train to arrive by the end of November. The train will allow mushers and their supplies and dog teams to have support along the trail. We are all so excited to cover this amazing event that has thrilled the northern region for years before the washout of the Hudson Bay Line!

Drumroll, please…

Registered racers for the 2019 HBQ are:

David Daley, Churchill, MB
Tom Terry, Sioux Lookout, ON
Blake Freking, Finland, MN, USA
Jennifer Freking, Finland, USA
Peter McClelland, Ely, MN, USA
Shawn McCarty, Ely, MN, USA
Martin Massicotte, QC
Denis Tremblay, QC
Morgane Halbout, QC (tentatively registered)
Ed Obrecht, ON
Jesse Terry, Sioux Lookout, ON
Kevin Malikowski, MN, USA

We are capped at 12 racers this year, so the roster is now full. All additional racers will be placed on a wait list and will be offered a spot if it becomes available. Also, great news for Churchill... the first train in 17 months rolled in on Oct. 31. It’s a huge relief for the community and will help to make the 2019 HBQ possible!

Race Director – Dave Daley

Hudson Bay Quest Returns in 2019

The 2019 Hudson Bay Quest dogsled race will be reinstated next March riding, literally albeit hopefully, of the Hudson Bay Railroad. The vital lifeline that links Churchill and Gillam needs to be up and running in order to pull off the logistical operations for the race. Crucial supplies, officials as well as dog teams and emergency workers shuttle between the two towns and drops at checkpoints occur as well.

Both the 2017 and 2018 Hudson Bay quests were cancelled due to track washouts.

Registration, which opens November 01 at 12:00:01 (noon) CST, will be capped at 12 racers this year. The rail line between Gillam and Churchill is essential for moving race officials, supplies and dropped dogs/scratched teams. The rail is anticipated to be operational in time for our March 15, 2019 start date in Gillam, MB.

To register or for HBQ information, the official website will be updated soon at www.hbqrace.com.

Hudson Bay Quest Churchill, Manitoba

Dave Daley leaving the start in Churchill. Nace Hageman photo.

 

Hudson Bay Quest Churchill, Manitoba

Justin Allen from Churchill tears out of the gate in the Hudson Bay Quest. Drew Hamilton photo.

 

Hudson Bay Quest start line Churchill, Manitoba

Dave Daley’s dogs raring to go at the Hudson Bay Quest start line. Ales De Vries – Magnifico photo.

 

Hudson Bay Quest winner Ryan Anderson

Ryan Anderson wins the 2016 Hudson Bay Quest. HBQ photo.

Hudson Bay Rail-line May Not Open This Winter

Arctic Gateway, new owners of the Hudson Bay Rail line railway to Churchill issues warning that recent snowfall and last month’s fatal derailment just might delay restoration of northern rail service until the spring. The consortium took ownership of the Railway and Port of Churchill on August 31.

Despite regular postings on social media of intense progress on track repairs, Arctic Gateway spokesman Murad Al-Katib stated that crews are working tirelessly on the tracks despite the snow, “but it remains possible that this work cannot be completed prior to the onset of winter.”

Despite the fact that workers would soon complete fixing all the washouts that occurred along the line during flooding in May 2017, the strength of the line still needs testing by transporting equipment north to Churchill.

“Even if the washout repairs occur prior to winter, it is still possible that rail service will not be restored until the spring,” wrote the chief executive officer of Saskatchewan grain giant AGT Foods.

He noted rail companies and governments have offered to help, “but it may take time to get the right equipment up to the repaired section of the line.”

However due to the recent deadly derailment that occurred on Sept. 15, near Ponton, south of Thompson, Al-Katib has indicated that might severely delay transporting equipment near Churchill. The derailment track section remains closed while inspections of the incident continue.

A washout, most likely resulting from beaver dams clogging culverts caused the derailment according to the Transportation Safety Board. In the derailment a 38-year-old worker was killed. Arctic Gateway has since revamped the beaver – control program which was dropped in 1997 by previous owner Omnitrax from the USA.

All in all, Arctic Gateway seems to be moving in a very positive direction with the rail – line. We are all excited to see the first train roll into Churchill in the near future!

Churchill Weekly Photos – Hudson Bay Line

Hudson Bay Line in Manitoba

Aerial view of a washout along the Hudson Bay Rail line. Arctic Gateway photo.

 

Hudson Bay line Manitoba

Heavy equipment lifting damaged track from the line in Manitoba. Arctic Gateway photo.

 

Arctic Gateway workers on Hudson Bay Line

Laying the foundation for one of the many washouts along the Hudson Bay Line in Manitoba. Arctic Gateway photo.

 

Washout on the Hudson Bay Line

Steamroller packing the ground of a washout. Arctic Gateway photo.

 

Culverts drainage for Hudson Bay line.

Two steamrollers pack the ground next to a newly installed culvert used for drainage. Arctic Gateway photo.

 

Arctic Gateway works on Hudson Bay Line in Manitoba.

An ice age remnant boulder uncovered by the Hudson Bay line as work continues. Arctic Gateway photo.

The Arctic Gateway group, new owners of the Port of Churchill and the 100 mile stretch of track known as the Hudson Bay Line, are working diligently to repair all the washouts and problem spots along the line. Weather is cooperating and hopes are high the work can be completed before winter blows in from the north. Hopes for finishing before the polar bear season in October are a longshot at best. So far, so good as these photos from Arctic Gateway portray. What a relief to all the people living along the tracks and especially those residents in Churchill, the northern terminus of the railway.

Hudson Bay Line Repair Going Strong

Arctic Gateway is committing extensive man hours to the cause of bringing the Hudson Bay Line north to Churchill once again! it seems like a distant memory now of the drama of the deadlocked stalemate between Omnitrax, the Canadian Government and any prospective buyers of the port and the Hudson Bay Line. However, we are all moving on and looking toward the bright future of an operational port and railine linking the town of Churchill with the southern regions of the province. These awesome photos from Arctic Gateway show how new technology will help prevent future damage to the rails through washouts. Stay posted for more updates and news from the tundra.

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