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Delayed ship ready to rescue stranded VIA Rail passenger train NEWSWIRE

By John Godfrey | October 16, 2017

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Churchillstranded
Churchillstranded
A marooned VIA Rail train at Churchill, Manitoba
Joe Stover
MONTREAL, Quebec — Stormy weather on Hudson Bay means it will be a few more days until VIA Rail Canada can rescue a stranded passenger train by ship.

The MV Nunalik sought shelter in Whale Cove, north of Churchill, Manitoba, for most of a day to escape stormy seas. It was due to Churchill on Oct. 14, but arrived this morning. The tug boat Keewatin has also arrived in port from St John’s, Newfoundland, to assist.

Moving the train by ship is VIA Rail Canada officials’ current plan to remove one entire consist of its Winnipeg to Churchill, Manitoba, train by sea, with the help of the Nunavut Eastern Artic Shipping’s arctic freighter.

MV Nunalik, which regularly calls at eastern Canadian ports between Valleyfield, Quebec, and Churchill set sail from Valleyfield on Oct. 5. After in-bound shipments are unloaded, outbound cargo, including the VIA consist, will be loaded and secured before the MV Nunalik sets sail and begins its return trip east and south for Valleyfield, calling at seven intermediate ports.

Making the journey south are F40PH-3 locomotives 6434 and 6402, baggage car 8601, coaches 8105 and 8118, dining car 8418 York, and 3 section — 8 roomette, 1 drawing room, 3 double-bedroom — sleeping car 8222 Chateau Richelieu. The consist has been marooned in the northern gateway city after the OmniTRAX’s Herchmer Subdivision became impassable north of Avery, Man., at milepost 355 due to 19 washouts and 5 damaged bridges.

Arrival in Valleyfield is expected to be in early November. It’s not yet known whether the VIA locomotives and rolling stock will be unloaded in the Port of Montreal en route to Valleyfield.

Loading is to take place at the extreme north end of the Churchill pier by means of the Nunalik’s own cranes. The VIA equipment will be moved over panel track from the end-of-track mid-pier. Once ship-side, the Nunalik’s crane’s will hoist the locomotives and rolling stock into the ship’s hold for the trip south. The Nunalik is now expected to leave the Port of Churchill on Oct. 18.

5 thoughts on “Delayed ship ready to rescue stranded VIA Rail passenger train NEWSWIRE

  1. Hey, that movement on panel track is going to be pretty rare mileage if you can figure out how to make the trip.

  2. The Chateau series sleepers do not have roomettes; they have duplex roomettes, which VIA calls “cabins for one” (just as VIA calls roomettes “cabins for one.”
    For the new people, who never slept in or saw either accommodation, a duplex roomette is slightly smaller than a roomette, are staggered in height above the aisle (the berth in the lower one slides underneath the floor of the higher room in front of it), and Pullman sold them at a lower price than it charged for a roomette. However, VIA charges the same for both.

  3. Being forced to fly to Churchil, as we are, in November due to the wash outs is not a good thing. If money was not committed I would go next fall.

  4. Very similar to the fire on the Britannia Bridge in North Wales in 1970, when stranded trains and locos were recovered by ship.

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