Severe Flood Damage Jeopardizes Future of Churchill, Manitoba

Jun 14, 2017 @ 08:30

Future of rail service to Churchill, Manitoba is in peril. Damage this year from flooding includes 19 places where the track bed is washed out and at least five bridges are damaged. Citing a short construction season, the Company, Omnitrax says all the repairs cannot be completed. The inspection alone will cost more than $500,000 and take a month.

The company is asking for help from all levels of government, claiming that over the past 20 years of operation, they’ve lost money — $30 million since 1997.


This rail line is the only land link Churchill has, bringing tourists, food and supplies to this remote community. Food costs are expected to double without rail service. Costs to fly groceries in are currently being absorbed by the Northwest Company, but are not expected to be absorbed forever.
Omnitrax also operates the Port of Churchill. Omnitrax, based in Denver, Colorado has signed a memorandum of understanding with a First Nations consortium, but the deal has not been finalized.