Tuesday, September 12, 2017

CN reopens B.C. coal line

Written by  Stuart Chirls, senior editor, Railway Age

Canadian National Railway (CN) has reopened its Tumbler Ridge branch located in the coal fields of east-central British Columbia.


The former BC Rail line was decommissioned by CN in 2014 after customer Walter Energy closed the Wolverine Mine.

Mine operators including Conuma Coal had been transloading and using another CN line, according to local reports.

Montreal-based CN said earlier this year that it planned to reactivate service on the line connecting Tumbler Ridge and the Ridley Island Coal terminal near the port of Prince Rupert. Improvements to the rail line were estimated to cost CA $23 million (US $18.90 million).

Conuma reopened the Brule Mine late in 2016, and plans to open two other bankrupt mines acquired from former owner Walter Energy Canada.

A downturn in coal prices led to the closure of all the region's mines in 2015. But the market for the area's metallurgical coal has improved in recent months.