Hudson Bay Railway (1997)
The Hudson Bay Railway (reporting mark HBRY) is a Canadian short line railway operating over 1,300 kilometers (810 mi) of track in northeastern Saskatchewan and northern Manitoba.
HBRY was formed by railroad holding company OmniTRAX in July 1997 to purchase former Canadian National Railway (CN) rail lines running north from 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 on Hudson Bay. Operations began on August 20, 1997.
At the same time, OmniTRAX also took over the operation and marketing of the Port of Churchill from Transport Canada. Previous owner CN had limited the allowable tonnage to operate on the lines as a result of the light rail and poor track base. However, the HBRY 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 considered a vital transportation link in northern Manitoba, hauling ores and concentrates, copper, zinc, logs, kraft paper, lumber, and petroleum products. Via Rail Canada also uses HBRY tracks to operate its passenger train service between The Pas and Churchill.
Major customers for HBRY include HudBay Minerals, Tolko, Vale, Gardwine North, Stittco Energy, Farmers of North America, and formerly, the Canadian Wheat Board.
The line was originally constructed by an earlier company of the same name. The Hudson Bay Railway was built starting in the early 1900s under Canadian Northern Railway before being taken over by the Government of Canada and completed in 1929. The lines were operated by Canadian National Railway from 1929-1997 before being sold to OmniTRAX.
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. Service was restored on August 2, 2005, two days ahead of initial expectations.
2006 sale of Keewatin Railway
On April 1, 2006, the Hudson Bay Railway sold the former CN Sherridon Subdivision, between Sheritt Junction and Lynn Lake, to the three native tribes in the area, who now own and operate the railway, running twice-weekly mixed (passenger plus freight) trains.
On May 23, 2017, OmniTRAX announced that due to unprecedented floodings, the line was closed indefinitely between Amery and Churchill, pending evaluation of the damages and repairs.
Hudson Bay Railway Overview
Reporting mark: HBRY
Locale: northern Manitoba
Dates of operation: 1997–present
Track gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Headquarters: The Pas, Manitoba
Official Website Hudson Bay Railway:
Classic Streamliners - TRAINCYCLOPEDIA
Route Map of the Hudson Bay Railway. HBRY in black and KR in grey.
By TeVe [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Former Southern Pacific, now Omnitrax GP35M unit, converted by Hudson Bay Railway in 2000 into a GP38-3 unit. The '3' signifying 3rd generation.
By Mark Zulkoskey [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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Text: wikipedia.org. Images: Public Domain; http://www.commons.wikimedia.org (unless otherwise specified) and 17 U.S. Code § 107 fair use. References: Lewis, Robert G. The Handbook of American Railroads. New York: Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation, 1951, 2nd Edition 1956. Site Map Contact webmaster HERE.