June 7, 2018 2:00 pm
Updated: June 7, 2018 5:20 pm

CentrePort expects to build $100M rail terminal in Winnipeg

This artist rendering depicts the planned $100 million dollar CentrePort rail park and terminal.

CentrePort Canada

It could eventually replace the CP Rail yards that bisect north from south Winnipeg.

CentrePort Canada, the master planner and developer of a 20,000 acre inland port on the west side of the city, has issued a Request for Proposals for a $100-million rail park.

The vision: link the CP Mainline to future industrial and manufacturing businesses expected to build on the property. CN and BNSF would also have access to the facility.

CentrePort is seeking a private sector partner to help finance the project located on 665 acres in the RM of Rosser.

CentrePort Canada President and CEO Diane Gray expects construction to start as early as next year.

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The port links trucking firms to a rail hub and air cargo facilities at the airport. So far 54 companies have either built or are building new operations at CentrePort.

Conceptual drawings show what the $100 million dollar rail park and terminal at Winnipeg’s CentrePort would look like.

CentrePort Canada

Toronto-based BroadGrain Commodities committed in 2016 to build a $25-million elevator and bean-processing facility at the rail park. The oilseeds and specialty crop handler put its plans on hold pending Thursday’s announcement.

WATCH: This CentrePort marketing video outlines how the port would link trucking firms to a rail hub and air cargo facilities at the airport.

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CentrePort is a vision that has been in slow motion. For years, due to the indecision of successive provincial and municipal governments on zoning, board governance and day-to-day operations, CentrePort threatened to scuttle the ambitious plan. This announcement means the private-sector will be heavily involved in any future development of the project.

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Dave Angus is a past President of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has a seat on the CentrePort Board.

“This takes it to the next level,” Angus said. “It really opens up new opportunities for rail intensive companies that would consider coming to Winnipeg and setting up.”

As part of the deal the provincial government agreed to sell the 665 acres for a still-to-be-negotiated price. The land was acquired in 2010 to build CentrePort Canada Way, the highway that runs through the mostly vacant business park.

What CentrePort Canada could look like after a proposed rail park is built

CentrePort Canada

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That is about to change. Sources tell Global News a major Winnipeg trucking firm will relocate its operations to the south side of CentrePort and three other properties have been sold or conditionally sold.

Angus said sometime in the future, CP Rail could decide to relocate its operations to the site.

“It wouldn’t surprise me that someday that would present itself.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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