• DTS.USA
    5.320
    -0.013
    -0.2%
  • NTI.USA
    2.800
    0.000
    0%
  • NTID.USA
    2.760
    -0.100
    -3.5%
  • NTIDL.USA
    1.940
    -0.100
    -4.9%
  • OTRI.USA
    6.190
    0.010
    0.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,391.500
    -166.900
    -1.3%
  • DTS.USA
    5.320
    -0.013
    -0.2%
  • NTI.USA
    2.800
    0.000
    0%
  • NTID.USA
    2.760
    -0.100
    -3.5%
  • NTIDL.USA
    1.940
    -0.100
    -4.9%
  • OTRI.USA
    6.190
    0.010
    0.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,391.500
    -166.900
    -1.3%
Borderlands: CanadaNewsRail

Canada pumps $29M into rail projects, rail-related climate studies

Funding part of effort to enhance trade corridors

The Canadian government is investing in rail infrastructure in Saskatchewan and Ontario as part of its broader program aimed at bolstering Canada’s trade corridors.

Canada is also funding climate resiliency projects that seek to safeguard rail infrastructure.

Together, the investments total more than CA$29 million ($22 million). 

Four projects in Saskatchewan are getting $18.3 million through Canada’s National Trade Corridors Fund.

The investments include: 

  • $1 million to develop a preliminary design to relocate railroad crossings in Regina. The city of Regina will also contribute funding, and the total investment will be $2.4 million.
  • $13.5 million for a railway grade stabilization project at the Canadian Pacific interchange near Eston. Last Mountain Railway will also contribute $13.5 million to the project. 
  • $1.6 million for a new pre-interchange yard at a CP (NYSE: CP) interchange near Assiniboia. The yard will increase operating interchange capacity, allowing greater traffic flow and improved fluidity, Transport Canada said Thursday. Great Western Railway is also contributing $1.6 million toward the project. 
  • $2.2 million to build 12,000 feet of additional track to address congestion at the interchange between the Stewart Southern Railway and CP in Lajord. Total investments for this project are over $6.5 million, with Purely Canada Foods funding the remainder. 

The Canadian government is also investing $5 million to increase warehousing capacity and speed up loading at the Port of Windsor. The project aims to increase capacity and efficiency of Morterm Ltd.’s transload activities. Essex Terminal Railway is also contributing $6.2 million. 

The project will solidify Port Windsor’s role as a trade hub in the North American supply chain for electric vehicle and battery manufacturing, officials said this week. 

Investments addressing climate change and the railways

On top of the investments in Saskatchewan and Ontario, Canada is funding efforts addressing climate change’s impact on rail infrastructure.

The government is investing $4.4 million from the National Trade Corridors Fund in a study to examine current and future conditions of permafrost along the Hudson Bay Railway Corridor, which the government says is a “vital rail link” for people and cargo in Churchill, Manitoba. The University of Calgary will lead the study and identify potential mitigation strategies and tools related to permafrost hazards, and the study’s results will be used to develop strategies to ensure the resiliency of the rail corridor, Transport Canada said. 

The government is also providing over $700,000 to 10 projects in Manitoba under the Rail Safety Improvement Program.

Earlier this month, the government announced the establishment of the Rail Climate Change Adaptation Program, which aims to support the research and development of technologies addressing the impacts of climate change on Canada’s rail sector. 

The program will provide up to $2.2 million in contribution funding to Canadian railways to cost-share research, Transport Canada said. Project submissions will be accepted through Sept. 28.

The program is part of Canada’s broader National Adaptation Strategy aimed at examining how to build and maintain infrastructure that will be resilient against climate-related events.

The government also said it was introducing measures to prevent fires on railway property and in nearby communities. The measures, slated for April 1 through Oct. 31, require railways to:

  • Reduce train speeds and conduct additional track inspections when temperatures are high to reduce the risk of a derailment caused by track conditions.
  • Inspect locomotive exhaust systems more frequently to ensure they are free of deposits that could pose a fire risk.
  • Implement a fire risk reduction plan.

These measures, which will be in place during months when heat and dryness may contribute to fire hazards, are a response to fires that occurred in 2021. There was concern that sparks coming from the trains of CN (NYSE: CNI) and CP contributed to a fire that engulfed the town of Lytton in British Columbia, but the Transportation Safety Board cleared the railways of any wrongdoing.

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Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.