Railroad abandonment and other changes in the southern Manitoba grain transportation system have lead to increased trucking of grain. Further losses of railroads will have negative effects on rural Manitoba communities, including increased road damage costs and reduction in farm income. Markets that are best served by rail (i.e. large volume shipments over long distances) are no longer available to the rural shipper after abandonment. Instead, shippers are limited to local truck-served markets. Abandonment also results in a loss of economic development opportunities for rural communities. Firms that require railroads for inbound and/or outbound transport are less likely to consider locating in a community that has no rail service.

It was with these effects in mind that producers in South Central Manitoba established The Boundary Trail Railway Company Inc. (BTRC), a shortline railway operating with the goal of forestalling further consequences of rail abandonment on the communities it represents. BTRC is incorporated pursuant to the Manitoba Business Corporations Act, and is headquartered in Manitou, MB. BTRC is the first producer owned shortline railway in Manitoba, following the example set by a number of shortlines in Saskatchewan in recent years.

In 2009 BTRC acquired 23 miles of the former CP La Riviere subdivision (land, bridges, ballast, and track) from Canadian Pacific. Trackage extends west from the CP interchange point in Morden MB, to the terminal end of the track at Binney Siding (approximately 2.5 miles northwest of Manitou).

BTRC began operations in June of 2009, and has been very pleased with the response from producers in the region – to date over 1200 producer cars have been carried by the shortline. The completion of four privately owned and operated trackside storage and handling facilities, strategically located at Binney (one facility), Manitou (two facilities), and Darlingford (one facility), has greatly enhanced BTRC's ability to serve producers by providing a fast and convenient alternative to auger loading.

While BTRC's primary service involves the shipment of producer cars, the company is also pursuing both inbound and outbound shipments of other commodities. With the recent purchase of a GP9 locomotive (ex-GTW 4625) the company now has ample hauling power for their operations. For more information please contact:

Travis Long
General Manager
Boundary Trail Railway Co.
PO Box 676
304 Highway #3
Manitou, Manitoba R0G 1G0

phone 204 242 4201
fax 204 242 2051
email BTRC@mymts.net