Great Western Railway, a short-line railway company based at Shaunavon, Sask., has expanded its rail network in southern Saskatchewan.
GWR recently acquired the assets of Fife Lake Railway (FLR), another short-line railway company that owned 97 kilometres of track between Assiniboia, Sask., and Coronach, Sask., near the Saskatchewan-Montana border.
GWR had operated and maintained the Fife Lake line for years under various operating agreements with FLR.
Earlier this year, GWR reached a deal to buy all outstanding shares of FLR.
The Fife Lake line connects with GWR’s existing track near Assiniboia, about 100 kilometres southwest of Moose Jaw.
The new section of GWR track runs through several southern Saskatchewan communities including Scout Lake, Rockglen, Fife Lake, and Coronach.
The line ends 13 kilometres from the United States border, or 35 kilometres north of Scobey, Montana.
“This past fall, Great Western Railway formed an affiliated grain dealer company, Great Western Commodities, which … recently received its bonding and CGC license. The start-up of our own grain company, combined with the purchase of 150 of our own hopper rail car fleet, as well as this recent acquisition of the Fife Lake Railway will help position the GWR to better support the communities of southern Saskatchewan as we look to grow and expand our operations,” said GWR general manager Andrew Glastetter in a May 29 email to The Western Producer.
The Fife Lake Railway was previously owned by a group of seven shareholders including the GWR, local towns and rural municipalities.
FLR has been in operation since 2005 when it was acquired from Canadian Pacific Railway.
GWR has more than 400 shareholders made up mostly of local farmers, communities, and other ag-related organizations.
With the acquisition of the FLR, the GWR now owns more than 600 kilometres of track.
It also operates and maintains another 113 kilometres of line on the Red Coat Road and Rail network, which runs east of Assiniboia to Ogema and Pangman, Sask.