Farmer-owned Boundary Trail Railway Co. Inc. has reached a deal with Canadian Pacific Railway to keep almost 40 km of CPR track in southern Manitoba from being torn up for scrap.
The 37.4 km involved had been part of CPR’s La Riviere
subdivision, from Binney Corner (near St. Leon, about 90 km south of Portage la Prairie) east to Morden.
Also, the group will buy all 130 km of right of way in the La Riviere subdivision and the Napinka subdivision, from which the track and ties were earlier salvaged and removed by Brandon, Man. salvage company Cando Contracting, under contract with CPR.
In a deal announced Friday, CPR will get $4.34 million for the combined rail and right of way assets. The deal for the track is subject to Boundary Trail finalizing its financing arrangements, but the purchase of the right of way is unconditional, the group said in a release Friday.
“In the event BTRC acquires only the right of way the price will be substantially less,” it said. The deal is expected to be completed by Nov. 30.
BTRC, if the deal succeeds, would become the first short line railroad established in Manitoba to be owned primarily by farmers.
“BTRC believes that the completion of this
purchase will ensure the continuation of shipping alternatives for producers in southwestern Manitoba, and will permit the development of new business over time in this part of the province,” the group said, noting rail is recognized to be a more efficient and “greener” method of moving commodities.
Citing the freight savings available to farmers who ship grain to the CPR mainline using producer rail cars on the subdivision, BTRC had raised funds through a share drive at a price of $2,000 per share.
BTRC also received support from grain firm Mission Terminal and from Winnipeg businessman and philanthropist John Buhler.