• Hudson Bay Railway

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Canada. For specific railroad questions, see Fallen Flags and Active Railroads categories.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Canada. For specific railroad questions, see Fallen Flags and Active Railroads categories.

Moderator: Ken V

  by marquisofmississauga
 
Mark0f0 wrote:So Trudeau thinks he can just snap his fingers and force a private company to conjure up $$$ to repair a line whose only customers are VIA Rail, and town supplies:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/ ... -1.4227610" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Meanwhile VIA stands to save millions by not operating the train in operating expenses.

Anyone have an idea of just what leverage the government has, without passing legislation to do the repairs and essentially nationalize the line? Does this bring up any ugliness for residents of, for instance, the Gaspe Peninsula, or Vancouver Island, who have lost VIA service due to railway maintenance neglect?
On another site, David Jeanes quotes section 47 of the Canada Transportation Act:

>
> 47 (1) Where the Governor in Council is of the opinion that
>
> (a) an extraordinary disruption to the effective continued operation of the national transportation system exists or is imminent, other than a labour disruption,
>
> (b) failure to act under this section would be contrary to the interests of users and operators of the national transportation system, and
>
> (c) there are no other provisions in this Act or in any other Act of Parliament that are sufficient and appropriate to remedy the situation and counter the actual or anticipated damage caused by the disruption,
>
> the Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Minister and the minister responsible for the Bureau of Competition Policy, by order, take any steps, or direct the Agency to take any steps, that the Governor in Council considers essential to stabilize the national transportation system, including the imposition of capacity and pricing restraints.
  by mdvle
 
Mark0f0 wrote: Anyone have an idea of just what leverage the government has, without passing legislation to do the repairs and essentially nationalize the line? Does this bring up any ugliness for residents of, for instance, the Gaspe Peninsula, or Vancouver Island, who have lost VIA service due to railway maintenance neglect?
And we have an answer.

In exchange for $40 million from Ottawa and Manitoba Omintrax agreed to maintain and operate the line until at least October 2018:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/ ... -1.4230972
  by mtuandrew
 
And now it's up to OmniTRAX whether it's cheaper to repair the line, to repay C$40M in part or in full, or to find a patsy. Hopefully the company has good borrowing rates, good construction weather, much lighter damage to the line than forecast, and customers & government willing to toss more money in.

I hope Keewatin bids and receives the contract for the entire cluster north of The Pas, and that they can operate it successfully. Besides my personal preference for locally-managed businesses (and for native-owned ones in particular), as a First Nations business they have access to grants that OmniTRAX can't get.
  by marquisofmississauga
 
This is the latest news.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/ ... -1.4281563" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The federal government has appointed a former top bureaucrat as an negotiator to help solve the Churchill rail issue and says it will help in finding a new owner for the line if the U.S.-based owner won't meet its contractual obligations.

Ottawa is dispatching the former Privy Council Clerk Wayne Wouters to work out differences between two competing groups interested in buying the rail line and the port from Denver-based Omnitrax and get a deal as soon as possible so the line to the northern Manitoba town can be fixed.
  by CLamb
 
What was freight service like on the line before suspension? Without the port operating I can't imagine much traffic.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Lamb, The Times addressed that very.point:
The New York Times wrote:In 1997, when the federal government brokered a sale of the port and most of the railway to OmniTRAX, a private company based in Denver, the company predicted that climate change would increase the port’s business as more ships used Arctic routes.

That didn’t happen.

In 2016, the company laid off most port employees at the start of the 14-week summer shipping season, after the government disbanded the national wheat monopoly and grain companies sent their product to other ports. The company had been in serious talks to sell the rail line when the flooding occurred
  by mtuandrew
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote:
The New York Times wrote:the company predicted that climate change would increase the port’s business as more ships used Arctic routes.

That didn’t happen.
Has Ontario Northland seen a traffic uptick with the availability of Arctic routes?
  by electricron
 
I’ll admit I don’t know the terrain that well up there, but wouldn’t it be better for the development of the city and area to have a regular highway built instead of having only a railroad? With a highway, you’ll probably see a decrease in shipping rates due to competitive pressures than you will from a sole railroad. Shipping of goods by air is just too expensive, and shipping by sea, which is the cheapest by far, is seasonal.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Stephens and Ron, the Port of Moosonee is simply not a player. Here is their "fleet":

http://mtlmoose.ca/our-vessels/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Yes, it is on James Bay, but it appears to be "upstream", and as such, it's draft is likely limited. With its limited transportation (no highway as Ron notes) I doubt if any.initiative for public funding could move forth.
  by mdvle
 
Last week Transport Canada gave Omnitrax notice of default on its agreement with the Federal Government, giving Omnitrax 30 days to restore service or face a lawsuit from the Government of Canada for $18.8 million (the amount given in 2008).

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/ ... -1.4354131

Now all of a sudden Omnitrax is claiming for a mere $10 million or less they can make temporary repairs to allow some freight traffic to move on the line (passenger traffic would not be allowed).

Also, head of Omnitrax Canada Merv Tweed had an opinion piece published in the Winnipeg Free Press where he places all of the blame on the Trudeau government. It may interest some to know that Merv Tweed was formerly a Conservative MP in Ottawa.

https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opini ... 04073.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merv_Tweed

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/ ... -1.4359149

The editorial mentions that Omnitrax was unaware in 2008 that the Canadian Wheat Board was going to be dismantled by the government. As pointed out in a comment on the editorial given that the elimination of the Canadian Wheat Board was a campaign issue for the Conservative Party at the time, and the party was in power in a minority government since 2006, it shouldn't have been a surprise.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Could Churchill become this?

http://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/15/world ... -city.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Fair Use:
KENO CITY, Yukon Territory — The journey to the heart of Yukon’s historic mineral wealth started with a question posed to a waitress at the aptly titled Gold Rush hotel in Whitehorse, the territorial capital: What’s the weirdest place in Yukon?

Her answer was a patch of pay dirt around 290 miles north, past endless forests of spruce and golden-leafed aspen, at the end of a gravel road known as the Silver Trail. There lies Keno City, a gold-rush-era relic with about a dozen full-time residents, tap water not fit for human consumption and two bars whose owners haven’t been on speaking terms for more than a decade.

Perched among hills rich in silver, zinc and lead, Keno City began as a Swedish prospector’s staked claim in 1919, its name inspired by a popular gambling game and intended to lure hearty fortune-seekers with the promise of an ore-laden metropolis in Canada’s frigid northern reaches.

People made a go of it here for 70 years, as the region became one of Canada’s largest producers of silver. But in 1989, the town was largely emptied by the closure of the United Keno Hill Mine. That turned the nearby company town of Elsa into a ghost town and prompted even the most stubborn holdouts to rebrand their beloved mining outpost as a quirky testament to human tenacity.

"You walk into a place like Keno and you’re like: ‘What? How many people live here, 12?’” said Dirk Rentmeister, 57, a former miner who grew up in Keno and was drying out a freshly detached moose head in his driveway..
  by XC Tower
 
Any further word on possible repairs and resumption of service?
Thank you for any information.









XC