VIA Rail service between Churchill and Gillam suspended indefinitely due to closure of the railway infrastructure in northern Manitoba

June 12, 2017

A press release from VIA Rail Canada:

WINNIPEG, June 9, 2017 /CNW/ – VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) was advised by Omnitrax that service on the railway from Amery (north east of Gillam, MB) to Churchill, in northern Manitoba, has been suspended indefinitely. VIA Rail is communicating with customers who have reservations on the impacted trains. No alternative mode of transportation will be provided. VIA Rail will resume its services between Gillam and Churchill once inspections of the railway have been completed and the track is back in operation.

At this time, passenger train service continues to be offered between Winnipeg and Gillam. Going south, departures of the train from Gillam are scheduled on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Wednesday departures operate between Gillam and The Pas. Going north, Sunday and Tuesday departures of the train operate between Winnipeg and Gillam. Friday departures operate between The Pas and Gillam. No alternate transportation between Gillam and Churchill is being offered.

VIA Rail thanks its customers for their understanding, and apologizes for any inconvenience caused by the suspension of service. Customers wishing to modify their reservation may do so at no additional charge by calling 1 888 VIA-RAIL (1 888 842-7245) or 1 800 268-9503 (hearing impaired).

About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada’s national rail passenger service, VIA Rail ( and its 2,700 employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada, and safely transports nearly four million passengers annually. The Corporation was awarded seven Safety Awards by the Railway Association of Canada over the last eight years. For more information, visit:

SOURCE VIA Rail Canada Inc.

Our survival is at stake: biz owners

By Carol Sanders and Scott Emmerson, Winnipeg Free Press; June 10, 2017

LOSING the lifeline that takes food, fuel and tourists to remote Churchill is devastating, say business owners who aren’t sure how the town will survive until winter without rail service.

“We are still in shock,” Paul Ratson with Nature 1st Tours in Churchill said Friday. “It had looked like it was going to be a good year, but now the cancellations are coming fast and furious.”

Click here to read the full story.

Rail service disruption, cancelled trips bring economic uncertainty to Churchill

By Beth Macdonell, Reporter, CTV News Winnipeg; June 10, 2017

There is economic uncertainty as rail service to Churchill is off the tracks indefinitely.

The disruption comes ahead of the busy summer tourist season, causing travellers to cancel trips.

Omnitrax Inc., the company that operates the rail line, said Friday a portion of the track is severely damaged northeast of Gillam to Churchill.

Click here to read the full story.

Washouts shut Hudson Bay Railway for shipping season

By Staff, Grainews; June 9, 2017

Flooding and rail bed washouts on sections of northern Manitoba’s Hudson Bay Railway have led the line’s owner to suspend its operations indefinitely.

The closure of the portion of the line running from Amery, Man., about 50 km northeast of Gillam, north to Hudson Bay at Churchill, all but ensures no Prairie grain, other than what’s already stored at port, will sail out of Hudson Bay this year.

Moreover, with the track out of service — as it has been since flooding shut the line on May 23 — northern communities that rely on the line to deliver food, fuel, other supplies and passengers will have to fall back on other limited transport options.

Click here to read the full story.




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