Inside Logistics

Plan to ship oil through Churchill put on hold

OmniTrax backs away from controversial plan to ship crude oil through Churchill over Hudson Bay


August 16, 2014
by The Canadian Press (CPSTF)

WINNIPEG, Manitoba—A rail company is putting the brakes on a controversial plan to haul millions of litres of oil across its northern rail line to the port of Churchill on Hudson Bay.

OmniTrax Canada president Merv Tweed says the company—which operates the port in Manitoba—is expecting another record shipping season from grain and other commodities.

He says that lessens the need to ship crude oil.

The plan to transport oil across hundreds of kilometres of remote rail line built on permafrost was opposed by aboriginal groups, environmentalists and the government of Manitoba.

The northern rail line has been plagued by derailments recently, forcing the suspension of both freight and passenger services.

Tweed says OmniTrax will look at other ways to diversify its shipments by possibly including potash and wood pellets.