Hudson Bay Railway

Hudson Bay Railway

Infobox SG rail

map_caption = HBRY in black and KR in grey
railroad_name=Hudson Bay Railway
logo_filename=Hudson Bay Railway logo.pnglocale=Manitoba, Canada
hq_city=The Pas, Manitoba

Hudson Bay Railway (HBRY) is a Canadian regional railway operating over 1300 kilometres (810 miles) of trackage in northern Manitoba.

HBRY was formed in July 1997 to purchase former Canadian National Railway (CN) trackage running north from CN trackage at The Pas, MB on two branches, one to Flin Flon, MB and on to Lynn Lake, MB, the other to Thompson, MB and on to the port of Churchill, MB on Hudson Bay. Operations began on August 20, 1997 and the company is owned by railroad holding company OmniTRAX.

At the same time, OmniTRAX also took over the operation and marketing of the Port of Churchill from the federal government's Department of Transport. Previous owner CN had limited tonnage on these lines as a result of the light rail and poor track base; however OmniTrax has been able to successfully operate heavier rail cars and longer trains in recent years without difficulty, resulting in increased business to the Port of Churchill and from various mines and pulp mills.

HBRY is a vital transportation link in northern Manitoba, hauling ores and concentrates, copper, zinc, logs, kraft paper, lumber, and petroleum products. VIA Rail also operates remote services on HBRY using its "Hudson Bay" passenger train between Winnipeg, MB and Churchill.

Major customers for HBRY include Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting, Tolko Manitoba, CVRD Inco, Gardwine North, Stitcco Energy, and the Canadian Wheat Board.


The original Hudson Bay Railway line was built in stages north from The Pas after a railway bridge was constructed over the Saskatchewan River in 1910-1911 by the Canadian Northern Railway (CNoR). It was meant to go to a major new shipping harbour on Hudson Bay. Although initial surveys were done to both ports of Churchill and Port Nelson, it was decided to proceed to Port Nelson in 1912. But when the harbour project in Port Nelson was abandoned, construction on the railway came to an end.

Following the CNoR bankruptcy in 1918 and creation of Canadian National Railways (CNR), the federal government undertook to complete the Hudson Bay Railway; this time to Churchill. Political interference, financing difficulties, and engineering challenges by the large amount of muskeg and frequent rock outcrops on the Canadian Shield led to inevitable delays. The line to tidewater was completed March 29, 1929.

CNR subsequently built resource railways from The Pas to Flin Flon, opening in 1928, followed by an extension on this line from Cranberry Portage, Manitoba, to Lynn Lake, opening November 9, 1953.

On July 27, 2005, heavy rains washed out part of the railroad between The Pas and Pukatawagan; all service over the line, including VIA Rail trains 290 and 291, was suspended while repairs took place. [VIA Rail Canada (July 27, 2005), " [ Hudson Bay Railway closes line - VIA service form The Pas to Pukatawagan temporarily cancelled] ". Retrieved August 1, 2005.] Service was restored on August 2, 2005, two days ahead of initial expectations. [VIA Rail Canada (August 2, 2005), " [ VIA resumes service between Churchill and Winnipeg] ". Retrieved November 20, 2005.]


External links

* [ Hudson Bay Railway corporate site]
* [ Timetables and bookings]

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