Saskatchewan invests $530,000 in short line railways

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

Saskatchewan Highways Minister Lori Carr has announced $530,000 in provincial short line rail investments.

Under the government of Saskatchewan’s Short Line Railway Improvement Program (SRIP), funding will assist with track upgrades and expansion, improved crossing surfaces and sightlines, bridge maintenance, track rehabilitation and other projects.

“Short line railways play an important role in getting Saskatchewan’s food, fuel and fertilizer on their journeys to worldwide markets, which helps keep our export-based economy strong to sustain our quality of life,” Carr said.

“We are proud to invest in this transportation sector as it is essential to keeping our great and growing province strong.”

SRIP allocations for 2024-25 and their operating locations are:

  • Big Sky Rail, Delisle (Eston, Elrose region) $87,035
  • Carlton Trail Railway (Saskatoon to Prince Albert area) $37,515
  • Great Sandhills Railway (Swift Current to Leader area) $43,089
  • Great Western Railway (Assiniboia, Shaunavon, Coronach area) $129,909
  • Last Mountain Railway (Regina to Davidson) $29,155
  • Long Creek Railroad (west of Estevan) $25,000
  • Northern Lights Rail (west of Melfort) $25,000
  • Red Coat Road and Rail (Ogema area) $25,000
  • Southern Rails Cooperative (south of Moose Jaw) $25,000
  • Stewart Southern Railway (southwest of Regina to Stoughton) $28,297
  • Thunder Rail (Arborfield area) $25,000
  • Torch River Rail (Nipawin to Choiceland area) $25,000
  • Wheatland Rail (Cudworth, Wakaw area) $25,000

“By investing in continuous improvements to our tracks, Saskatchewan short line railways ensure that rail is a safe, reliable, and efficient transportation option for agricultural producers, industrial facilities, and Saskatchewan businesses of all sizes,” Western Canadian Short Line Railway Association president Andrew Glastetter said.

“Many short line railways are community owned, and serve rural communities, while also playing a vital role in the overall supply chain. Short line railways have a positive impact on highways infrastructure, the environment, and rural economies, while transporting freight on infrastructure that is primarily maintained and funded privately.

“The Western Canadian Short Line Railway Association expresses our appreciation to the Government of Saskatchewan for their renewed funding of the Short Line Railway Improvement Program and for their support of the short line railway industry and rail access opportunities for businesses across Saskatchewan.”

Provincial grants provide up to 50 percent of eligible project costs and are determined based on how much track each short line owns. Networks with less than 80 kilometres of track receive at least $25,000. Larger networks receive a proportional amount based on how much track they operate.

Saskatchewan has 13 short line railways operating on 2,123 kilometres of track.