Churchill these days feels like this photo in many ways. We hope the Hudson Bay Line gets repaired this fall and the town can be restored to it’s former bustling self. Sending good vibes towards the polar bear capital of the world!
Summer is winding down in the north and the action has been relentless with the usual incredible Churchill summer highlights. The polar bears have been wandering the rocky Precambrian coast of the Hudson Bay and Churchill River and belugas have posed for shots like these above for the entire summer. We can’t get enough of the awesome scenic vistas near the coast and inland along rocky tundra. Another summer in the north with the wildlife one only dreams of! These images from Reinhard Mink are just a sample of the wildlife wonders of Churchill!
Check out this 10-year-old video of what the train from The Pas to Churchill used to look like. It seems like it’s been that long since the train last ran even though it has been only over a year at this point. The suffering in Churchill has been tremendous and loss of employment and relocation has dampened spirits in the frontier outpost on the Hudson Bay. Hopes are high an agreement can be made soon to rebuild the damaged track along the Hudson Bay Line and get the lifeline restored.
It’s hard to believe that polar bear season in Churchill is only two months away! This magnificent sleepy polar bear image is another gem from Churchill photographer and guide Alex De Vries – Magnifico. This polar bear season will be another filled with imagination and countless surprises in and around the coastal village of Churchill on the Hudson Bay. So, it’s time to almost wake up and venture north to see these beautiful animals in a breathtaking Arctic landscape!
If money becomes available, Hudson Bay Railway could begin repairing the damaged tracks between Churchill and Gillam as early as September according to HBR President Sergio Sabatini. He confirmed with the Canadian Transportation Agency on August first that HBR has begun soliciting contracting bids to repair the washed out tracks but the money is not there to cover the costs of the work.
A report to the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), ordering HBR to start repairs by July 3 this year stated the process began with track inspection June 11 and June 12 by independent auditor AECOM. HBR prepared request proposals (RFP) and submitted them on June 28 to six pre-screened eligible contractors. Four of the six contractors attended a mandatory site visit on July 12 – 13. AECOM responded to technical questions form the contractors through July and bids were submitted and by August 3rd. AECOM stated it was “confident there will be multiple bids and methodologies to consider.”
Hudson Bay Railroad states that a substantial amount of repairs can be finished this year and then concluded by mid-2019. The goal is to restore limited service during this winter and then have full service soon after that when repairs conclude. Again, the report painstakingly reiterated facts that money was currently not available to initiate a definite repair plan.
“As the agency is aware HBR does not have the financial capability to undertake the full repairs of the damage to the railway caused by the spring 2017 flood,” Sabatini wrote. “HBR and its shareholders have been in discussion with the federal government and a potential buyer with the objective of ensuring that the necessary funds are in place to fully repair the Gillam to Churchill line and resume operations as expeditiously as possible.”