After more than a year, a train has reached Churchill, Manitoba. Three locomotives, a caboose and a flatcar arrived at the northern town just before 6:45 PM on October 31. This was the first train to visit the town since the rail line between Gillam and Churchill was washed out in late May 2017.
Churchill residents rejoice as rail service gets back on track https://t.co/Zea4WlKpjq
— CBC Manitoba (@CBCManitoba) November 1, 2018
That train had no freight on it, but it shows that the line is essentially fixed now. The Arctic Gateway Group, new owner/operators of the line, says that repairs are “essentially complete” after over a month of hard work.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Churchill today to announce that full passenger and freight rail service should resume by the end of November.
For the railfans, the train had HBRY 5005 and 5004, LLPX 2606, Cando caboose CCGX 200001, and a flatcar. 5005 and 5004 were recently repaired by the Hudson Bay Railway after laying idle for years under the previous owners, Omnitrax.
The CBC has a couple of videos of the event. The second video has some great views of the train.
It’s currently not possible to reserve a seat on the VIA Rail train to Churchill yet, but I’m sure it will be enabled in the next few weeks as inspections progress and the line is certified for full use.
This is great news and it’s thanks to the hard work by Arctic Gateway and its contractors, and the support of the federal government.