Tuesday, April 30, 2013
CN's Prairie North Line and the Flooding
People in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are used to dealing with flooding every year. With the flat land, the water goes everywhere. 2009 was a bad year in Manitoba. 2011 was not great. This year the flood forecast for Manitoba is not too bad, but Saskatchewan... Saskatchewan is in trouble. They had a lot snow this winter and now it is melting and communities are experiencing flooding. So far five municipalities and one First Nation have declared states of emergencies.
The village of Borden, Saskatchewan is desperately fighting the flooding. Borden and the town of Radisson (also in emergency) are both located on the CN Aberdeen subdivision, part of CN's Prairie North Line. The provincial Water Security Agency is reporting that the water is backed up behind the railway grade today.
Another town in emergency is Maidstone, on the CN Blackfoot subdivision, also part of the Prairie North Line.
So far CN's State of the Railroad says its operations are normal, but they are monitoring the situation.
In what might be quite a coincidence, last week CN announced they are investing $30 million in upgrading the Prairie North Line. The investment is to upgrade the line to better serve CN when it has to divert some or all traffic off the main Winnipeg-Saskatoon line. Currently the sidings are in the 6,000-7,000 foot range, not long enough for meets with the typical 10,000+ foot trains that CN runs. CN is also investing $60 million in the main line "for additional double track and new sidings between Winnipeg and Saskatoon on the main line" as well as $15 million within Winnipeg's yards.