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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

British Columbia selects four-firm short list for BC Rail privatization bids


On July 14, British Columbia's government released a short list of companies invited to submit final proposals on assuming BC Rail Ltd.'s operation and management.

Out of five submissions received from a request for proposals issued May 15, the province selected Canadian Pacific Railway, Canadian National Railway Co., RailAmerica Inc. and OmniTRAX Inc. in partnership with Burlington Northern Santa Fe to submit final bids.

"This process was designed to allow the government to select the submission that best meets the needs of British Columbians as spelled out in the request for proposals released May 15," said province officials in a prepared statement. "The government is responding to the requests of communities and resource industries for revitalized, sustainable and strengthened railway service, and more competitive rates."

The RFP stipulated that revitalization proposals must address BC Rail's sustainability, competitiveness, growth opportunities and benefits to local communities. Although a private investor would assume control of BC Rail's operations and management, the 1,400-mile regional's rail beds, rights of way and track would remain provincially owned.

A provincial evaluation committee expects to choose a final proposal in September or October. British Columbia plans to reach a public/private agreement by year end.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/15/2003