The CBC reported that Focus Equities Inc. has been engaged to build the Canada Rail Park in Winnipeg’s CentrePort.
CentrePort is billed as a multi-model transport hub, located on the northwest edge of Winnipeg near the James Richardson airport. It has access to major highways, the airport, and three railways via CP’s Carberry subdivision and through interswitching, CN and BNSF.
Since its formation in 2008, CentrePort has been a bimodal hub at best, with truck and air access. Truth be told, if you drive through the CentrePort area, there are a lot of roads and a lot of open space. If you look at CentrePort’s March 2022 map, you won’t see a lot of “Sold”.
Focus Equities issued a backgrounder that provides a lot of detail about CentrePort but not a lot about future plans. It does say “Rail Park construction is set to begin this summer.” I will believe that when I see it.
In 2016 I reported that a new grain terminal will be built at CentrePort, by a company called BroadGrain Commodities. They were broadly advertised as the anchor tenant for the new rail park, but that clearly never happened. BroadGrain still exists but they didn’t build here.
You can probably tell that I am skeptical about this new announcement. I hope I am proven wrong and the rail park gets built and many tenants move in. We’ll see.
(images from CentrePort / Focus Equities media kit)