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Churchill rail line may not be operational until spring, says Arctic Gateway

Rail work continues on the rail line to Churchill by Arctic Gateway. Arctic Gateway / Facebook

Rebuilding Churchill’s rail line could take longer than the northern community expected.

Even if the repairs are finished before winter, service may not be available until spring, said Murad Al-Katib, spokesperson for Arctic Gateway.

RELATED: Feds to spend $117 million to fix Churchill rail line

Arctic Gateway Group, a consortium including northern communities, Fairfax Financial Holdings in Toronto and AGT Food and Ingredients from Regina, hammered out a deal to buy the line and port from Omnitrax.

They announced Sept. 14 that work to fix the rail line had already started.

“Repair work on the rail line has already begun … and every effort is being made to complete the work and restore rail service before winter sets in,” Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, said at the time.

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READ MORE: Deal for broken Churchill rail line reached

Once the repairs are finished, testing equipment will be needed to determine the railways safety, said the company on social media.

Al-Katib said this step could take some time as the equipment comes from “the south.”

“We will complete this testing and maintenance as soon as possible following the repairs to the line, but it remains possible that this work cannot be completed prior to the onset of winter,” Al-Katib said in a Facebook post.

Crews will be seen in Churchill as the track becomes usable for service vehicles, but it won’t mean the work is done, he added.

WATCH: Arctic Gateway Group on the Churchill Line

Click to play video: 'Arctic Gateway Group on the Churchill Line' Arctic Gateway Group on the Churchill Line
Arctic Gateway Group on the Churchill Line – Sep 14, 2018

-With files from The Canadian Press

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