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OmniTRAX Canada reopened a Hudson Bay Railway Co. line between Gillam and Churchill, Manitoba, on July 5.The company closed the line on June 20 and suspended service due to poor track surface conditions caused by the harsh winter — primarily severe permafrost issues — and a difficult transition to spring. OmniTRAX Canada worked with three surfacing contractors to repair the track."We are working toward resuming our regular freight service schedule, having met Transport Canada rules respecting track safety," OmniTRAX Canada officials said in an announcement posted on the company's website. "We have implemented a plan for ongoing track maintenance throughout the shipping season, and we believe that the substantial resurfacing work completed over the past weeks will greatly improve the reliability of the line for all of our customers."Hudson Bay Railway operates 627 miles of track in The Pas, running north through Manitoba to Hudson Bay, and interchanges with CN. The Gillam-to-Churchill line also is used by VIA Rail Canada Inc.Now that the line has reopened, VIA Rail plans to conduct a safety assessment prior to returning passenger trains to the route."We will resume the service between Gillam and Churchill once OmniTRAX has demonstrated that all our safety requirements have been met and that the track is once again deemed safe for passenger train operations," said VIA Rail Chief Operating Officer Denis Pinsonneault in a statement issued in late June.
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