The Kitsumkalum First Nation and CN Rail have reached a deal involving selling local rock and building a new rail spur from the CN tracks just west of Terrace.
The rail spur will transport rock from the Kitsumkalum’s quarry located a few kilometres north of the tracks and rock will be purchased and picked up by CN.
“CN is working with the Kalum Quarry Ltd. Partnership to build two tracks that will provide access to CN’s main line to move product from their ballast pit in Terrace,” said Emily Hamer, spokesperson for CN Rail. “Construction of grade for the tracks is currently underway and it is expected that the track will be in service to the quarry by this fall.”
Building the actual rail spur will ideally start within a week’s time, and grade work was finished last week, said Richard Inkster, who is the sales manager for the Kitsumkalum rock quarry.
Before tracks can be laid, a small bridge will need to be built.
“We’re putting a bridge in right behind Tempo Gas to get across the street,” said Inkster.
The rail spur itself will shoot off the CN Rail tracks west of Terrace, cross Hwy16, and continue to the quarry where once built rail cars will be loaded with rock and gravel. Infrastructure for the spur, such as lights and gates on the highway, will be put in.
The project stems from a deal reached years ago between CN and Kitsumkalum.
“The whole thing is all being paid for by the band council,” said Inkster, adding that he, personally, doesn’t know the total project cost. “We’re hoping this is going to create a lot of economic development for our reserve.”
Inkster said that providing CN rock from the Terrace area was a good fit for both.
“They need a lot more rock then they have on hand right now,” he said. “It’s cheaper for them to haul it out of here than taking it from Prince George all the way to Prince Rupert.”
But plans for the quarry don’t stop at the current CN deal.
“We’ve done a lot of research on the rock not just for the rail ballast but also for cement aggregate and some road base material that we’re looking to sell locally,” said Inkster. “It’s just not for the rail line anymore.”