November 1, 2018 4:33 am
Updated: November 1, 2018 6:20 pm

First train rolls into Churchill after a long anticipated wait

WATCH: Churchill residents cheered as a train rolled into their community Wednesday evening, some 18 months after being cut off from the rest of the province by a flood-damaged rail line.

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After more than a year of waiting, Churchill residents were surprised Wednesday evening to hear sounds of a train rolling into their community.

WATCH: Global’s Amber McGuckin traveled to northern Manitoba to document the return of rail service

Residents were expecting the train to arrive Thursday, but the change of plans was not a disappointment for the community.

READ MORE: Feds to spend $117 million to fix Churchill rail line

Patricia Kandiurin lives in Churchill, she said not having the sound of train engines filling the town, had become eerie.

“Growing up in Churchill you hear those yard engines all summer when the freight trains are here, and not hearing that for the last 17 months, its a deafening silence,” she said.

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She described to 680 CJOB her emotions of seeing the long awaited first train pull into the community.

“My heart was just pounding from the sound of the engines,” Kandiurin said. “Standing there and listening to them, it was just vibrating through my body.”

She said the community immediately felt the same emotions as she did.

READ MORE: Churchill presented with challenges, opportunities


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“It was such a happy time, there were people hugging, there were people crying. Children left trick-or-treating to run to the train station, because they were in awe of this train.”

Arctic Gateway, the company who bought the railroad assets posted on Facebook, “All the hard work is paying off. So happy to see the community there to greet us. We are grateful for the support on this important step forward.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the trip to Churchill to help celebrate the finish of the rail line repairs. He said said rail service will be back to normal by the end of the month.

Previously, the only way to enter or leave Churchill since the flooding in the spring of 2017, was a pricey flight.

The community held a street party as part of the celebration with the Prime Minister.

WATCH: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Churchill Thursday to mark the return of rail service

-With files from Canadian Press 

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

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