First Nations, private company, say Churchill rail line deal

A host of companies has agreed to acquire and restore the Churchill rail line serving the Canadian town of Churchill, Manitoba, a year after it was washed out by flooding.
 
Under the agreement, the companies, which include Fairfax Financial Holdings, AGT Food and Ingredients, and Missinippi Rail Partners and OneNorth, will also purchase the Port of Churchill from private railroad and transportation management firm OmniTRAX.
 
The move also saw the participation of 30 First Nations and 11 non-First Nations communities in northern Manitoba, as well as seven Kivalliq communities in western Nunavut, and was negotiated by the Canadian Government.Canada Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr said: “The people of northern Manitoba have long understood the value of the rail line. This agreement in principle allows those most affected to have a direct stake in the future and long-term interests of their communities.”
 
The rail line, which was severely damaged by flooding in May last year, is one of the main sources of transportation infrastructure for the northern portion of the province. In the aftermath of the flood, OmniTRAX said it was unwilling to repair the damaged rail line.
 
The government said in a statement: “The Government of Canada is committed to the people of northern Manitoba and to re-establishing rail service before winter 2018. We look forward to when the deal is done and when service is restored to the Town of Churchill.”