Released on March 4, 2015
Saskatchewan’s 14th shortline rail company will hit the tracks between Melfort and Birch Hills this spring, thanks in part to an interest-free loan from the provincial government.
“We’re pleased to support the establishment of Northern Lights Rail and the expansion of our province’s network of shortline railways,” Highways and Infrastructure Minister Nancy Heppner said. “These railways provide grain producers and other shippers with an effective and competitive transportation option that helps to reduce the wear and tear on our highways.”
The Government of Saskatchewan has provided the Kinistino-based company, with approximately, a $550,000 interest-free loan to assist their purchase of 59 kilometres of rail line from Canadian National Railway (CN). The province has supported the purchase of shortline railways by community groups, local stakeholders and local governments in the past by offering loans and advice.
“Retaining rail infrastructure is important for supporting agriculture and economic development in the region,” Northern Lights Railroad President Wayne Bacon said. “Throughout the purchase process, a good working relationship was established between municipalities and towns with great support from producers, and we had tremendous support from CN and the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure as well. We look forward to being a fully-operational shortline, including opening our two loading facilities in the near future.”
With the addition of Northern Lights Rail, Saskatchewan will have 14 shortlines and approximately 2,060 kilometres of provincially-regulated track.
For more information, contact:
Highways and Infrastructure
Northern Lights Rail