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5/26/2006



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Keewatin Railway to take over passenger-rail operations on former Hudson Bay Railway line



Keewatin Railway Co. recently assumed ownership of a 185-mile northern Manitoba line the railroad acquired from the Hudson Bay Railway Co.

Owned by the Mathias Colomb Indian Band, Tataskweyak Cree Nation and the War Lake First Nation, Keewatin Railway received $4.9 million from the Canadian government and $1.25 million from the province of Manitoba to complete the transaction. The Indian tribes contributed $500,000 toward the line’s purchase.

The Canadian government also is providing the railway up to $3.2 million toward start-up costs to launch passenger-rail service on the line. Keewatin Railway needs to upgrade infrastructure and acquire locomotives and railway equipment.

VIA Rail Canada previously operated a twice-weekly passenger trains between The Pas and Pukatawagan under an operating agreement with Hudson Bay Railway. Keewatin Railway obtained a new operating agreement under which VIA Rail will lease four passenger cars to Keewatin for one year and continue to service trains in The Pas.


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