Tshiuetin Rail Transportation

Tshiuetin Rail Transportation
 
Tshiuetin Rail Transportation Inc. (reporting mark TSH, formerly TRT) is a rail company that owns and operates a 217-kilometre (135 mi) Canadian regional railway that stretches through the wilderness of western Labrador and northeastern Quebec. It connects Emeril, Labrador with Schefferville, Quebec on the interprovincial boundary. The company also operates a 356-kilometre (221 mi) railway that connects Sept-Îles, Quebec to Emeril. The company is the first railway in North America owned and operated by First Nations people, specifically by the Innu Nation of Matimekush-Lac John, the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach, and the Innu Takuaikan Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam.
 
History
 
Tshiuetin Rail Transportation currently operates on the Menihek Subdivision, a rail line running from Emeril Junction to Schefferville. The Menihek Subdivision used to be part of the QNSX main line, constructed between 1951 and 1954. After mining activity in Schefferville ended with the closure of the Schefferville iron mine in 1983, QNSX shifted its priority to the Sept-Îles to Labrador City line, and the Emeril Jct to Schefferville line had limited freight and subsidized passenger service for the remaining First Nations communities in the region.
 
By 2006, passenger rail service was considered by the Canadian government to be the only surface transportation mode available to and from Schefferville. Preceding the purchase of the Menihek Subdivision, QNSX was actively looking to sell off the rail line, but no other pre-existing railroad companies made purchase offers. Three local First Nation councils formed a single company to buy the line from QNSX.
 
In 2004, Tshiuetin Rail Transportation Inc. was issued a certificate of fitness by the Canadian Transportation Agency, before the railroad acquired the Menihek Subdivision. The company took possession of the Menihek Subdivision "as is, where is". The company was to provide all passenger rail and limited freight service. The company will also provide passenger rail service on the remaining QNSX-owned line running from the port of Sept-Îles, Quebec to Emeril Jct (and on to Schefferville).
 
Tshiuetin Rail Transportation began operations on December 1, 2005 with the conclusion of an agreement between the three owners of Tshiuetin Rail Transportation and the owners of the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway (QNSX), Rail Enterprises Incorporated and Iron Ore Company of Canada. Under this agreement, finalized in the fall of 2005, QNSX sold its Menihek Subdivision, for the nominal sum of Can$1.00.
 
The agreement between IOC and the three First Nations who own Tshiuetin Rail Transportation Inc. has resulted in the first aboriginal ownership of a railway line in Canada.
 
This railway (along with the QNSX line, Chemin de fer Arnaud, and Wabush Lake Railway) form an isolated railway network, as it does not interchange with any other rail lines on the North American network.
 
In media
 
The importance of the line is documented in Caroline Monnet's 2016 short film Tshiuetin.
 
On July 6, 2020, Chloë Ellingson of the New York Times published an extensive pictorial essay on the railway.
 
Tshiuetin Rail Transportation
 
Overview
 
Other name(s): North Wind
Status:  Active
Owner:  Innu Takuaikan Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam,
                Kawawachikamach,
                Matimekush-Lac John
Locale:  Quebec and Labrador
Coordinates: 53.0676959°N 66.2031418°W
Coordinates: 53.0676959°N 66.2031418°W
Termini:  Emeril
                 Schefferville Service
Type:  Heavy rail
History
Opened:  December 1, 2005; 15 years ago
Technical
Track length: 217 km (135 mi)
Track gauge:  1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1⁄2 in)
 
Tshiuetin Rail Transportation Route map
 
Legend
 
Schefferville (SK)
 
 Quebec
 Labrador
 Knob Lake Junction (KL)
Redore Junction (RD)
Howells River
Astray (RY)
Ashuanipi River
Menihek (NK)
Faden (FN)
Cavanagh (AH)
Esker (KS)
Sawbill (SW)
Talzie (AZ)
Shabo (BO)
Emeril (MR)
Ross Bay Junction to Labrador City
 Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway to Sept-Îles
 
 
 
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