Wednesday evening was exciting for more than just Halloween in the town of Churchill, Manitoba.
For the first time in more than a year residents heard a train whistle coming from the Hudson Bay Rail Line. The rail line was badly damaged by flooding in the spring of 2017 and, with no year-round roads into the community, the transport of food, fuel and other staples had been severely curtailed.
Thursday morning after the arrival of the train, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, accompanied by other dignitaries, came to Churchill to announce that the rail line will be fully operational for both passengers and freight by the end of November. The government has also pledged more than $3.8 million to be put towards projects to increase tourism, provide skills training, help offset the freight costs stemming from the rail line closure, and open the door for more investments in the community.
Heard a familiar (unfamiliar?) sound of a whistle… booked it to the station, and there it was! The first train to arrive in Churchill in 17 months!
We are a railway town again!! pic.twitter.com/RBxBdiLhQ7
— ? ???? Joe Stover (@joechurchill) November 1, 2018
In a news release, Western Economic Diversification Minister Navdeep Bains says, “The Hudson Bay Railway Line is not only a vital mainland connection for the town of Churchill and surrounding communities, it represents an important transportation and commercial hub. Together with our $3.8 million investment in people of northern Manitoba, it builds the foundation for good jobs and growth in the region.”
Back in September, the Government of Canada announced an investment of $117 million to support the acquisition and repair of Churchill rail line by the Arctic Gateway Group.