Province invests in new rail company
Source: Winnipeg Free Press
Published: May 6th 2009

The provincial government is chipping in $615,000 to help a new farmer-owned short-line railway company get off the ground between Manitou and Morden.

Agriculture Minister Rosann Wowchuk said this morning the government’s investment in the new Boundary Trails Railway Co. will help area farmers save on grain shipping costs while lessening heavy truck travel and wear and tear on provincial roads.

Grain shipments by rail also use up less fuel, meaning there are environmental benefits, she said.

Kevin Friesen, a Manitou farmer who heads the BTRC, said grain producers expect to save $1,600 in grain cleaning and handling charges on each railway car they ship.

The first shipment of grain on the new line, formerly property of CP Rail, is expected to take place in the next few weeks, once flooding has subsided at Morris. Floodwaters have forced the temporary closure of some area track.

Much of the grain loaded on the 37 kilometre BTRC line will be shipped east to Thunder Bay, where it will be handled by Winnipeg-based Mission Terminal Ltd., which has also invested in the rail line.