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Winnipeg - Churchill -gone forever? Churchill abandoned?


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#1 NW cannonball

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 05:46 AM

Just found some old news like

Perhaps I missed discussion here?

Found little recent news about restoring service.

Will Churchill become a ghost town?

 


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#2 caravanman

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 11:33 AM

I saw a BBC TV programme about Churchill last winter, and the town looked pretty badly hit by the closure of the port activities. I gather the same company owns the railtrack, but I might be wrong on that.

It seems to me that if the town has only 900 inhabitants, that would make it hard to justify repairing such severe damage, especially if the track owners want out of Churchill.

Fingers crossed things do get repaired, it has been on my wish list to visit Churchill by rail, ever since I found out it was even possible!

 

Ed.



#3 Hotblack Desiato

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 12:17 PM

This article just showed up in the New York Times the other day:

 

https://www.nytimes....nge-arctic.html

 

It notes that a US-based company called OmniTRAX owns the railroad and the port, but can't justify the cost of the repair because they fear climate change is causing uncertainty in how long such a fix would last until the next event wipes it out.



#4 zephyr17

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 01:30 PM

And with the port closed and grain traffic no longer shipped through Churchill, there is really not enough traffic to support a rail connection, especially when major rehabilitation of the line is required.

 

Personally, I think the ultimate solution will be the First Nations take it over with Canadian Federal government financial support, as has happened in Labrador and elsewhere in Manitoba (Pukatawagan) since there are no other transportation alternatives.

 

As to Churchill's very existence, there is little economic reason to exist without the Port.  Being a place where medical and government services are available for a large and remote area would be the reason it might not become a ghost town.  It has always required a large measure of government support (my understanding is the reason the Port even existed was basically political, originally with the western provinces not wanting to be wholly dependent on eastern Canada to ship grain across the Atlantic.  I was surprised when I found the amount of historic regional friction there has been in nice, polite Canada, Quebec aside).  It will require more assistance now.


Edited by zephyr17, 01 September 2017 - 01:39 PM.

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#5 MikefromCrete

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 05:32 PM

The ultimate answer to this problem is that the railroad will be sold to a First Nations Tribe and the federal government will pay to fix the tracks. As to the future of the port, perhaps the federal government will take that over as well. The area has a big tourist trade at certain times of the year and the railroad reaches areas that have no road access, so restoration of the railroad is possible, but will be expensive. As far as that trapped VIA consist is concerned, there has been some talk about moving it via ship --- or it could just sit there until the railroad is rebuilt. 



#6 Palmetto

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 04:38 PM

Can anyone tell us how robust the tourist industry was prior?  



#7 zephyr17

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 08:27 PM

People came up to see polar bears, so pretty popular in polar bear migration season.


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#8 jamesontheroad

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Posted Yesterday, 02:20 PM

And whale watching in the summer, but polar bears in the winter was the main draw.


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#9 railiner

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Posted Today, 03:19 PM

It would seem that with the effects of global warming, Churchill's maritime shipping season would be extended, perhaps enough to make freight (grain?) trains viable again...but I really don't know  much about that...

I do know, that the ship traffic thru the North West Passage is increasing every year as a result...


metroblue?

okay on the blue!




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