This short video clip outlines how privatization crippled the town of Churchill when the Hudson Bay Line was washed out and the Port was abandoned. The private U.S. company Omnitrax refused to fix the tracks and pulled out of port operation for nearly two years. The good news is that the train has returned to Churchill and the outlook for the future of the port is brighter than it has been for the last few years! This Churchill Summer season should be quite the refreshing breath of fresh air for the people of Churchill!
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!
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
Work is continuing and there is a light at the proverbial tunnel. With nearly all washouts repaired, the next step will be to transport equipment north to Churchill.….slowly. With a recent derailment that caused the death of a rail worker, the process will be long and pragmatic to insure there will be no other accidents on the Hudson Bay Line. Churchill will feel liberated once the trains begin to come and go again though everyone wants to be sure that all problems are worked out before regular service begins again. Sending our best wishes for workers toiling to reinstate tain service all along the northern corridor up to the polar bear capital of the world!
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!
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.