Spur line to northwestern BC quarry nearly finished

The project is just one Kitsumkalum development initiative

THE construction of a rail spur that will be used to transport rock from a quarry owned by the Kitsumkalum First Nation to CN Rail’s main line is near completion.

Within a week’s time, a bridge is scheduled to be lifted by crane and placed over a creek that runs behind Kitsumkalum’s band office. It will enable the track to cross over the creek, providing access to the quarry.

The economic development arm of the Kitsumkalum has CN as its main customer so far.

The CN contract itself is anticipated to bring in roughly $900,000 in gross revenues yearly for Kitsumkalum, said Terry Bennett, an economic development officer with the Kitsumkalum.

“It is over a 20-year contract,” he said, adding Kitsumkalum paid $1.5 million for the 3 kilometre rail spur’s construction, including work needed for the spur line to branch off CN’s main line by crossing Hwy16.

“We needed a spur that would hold 60 cars,” said Bennett of the work involved.

A single rail will cross Hwy16 near the main entrance to the Kitsumkalum village, splitting into two spurs closer to the quarry which is a few kilometres north. One of those segments will have the capacity to hold 32 cars and the other 28.

Construction began in May, making the first few kilometres of the West Kalum Road leading off of Hwy16 toward the quarry a busy place.

CN plans to use the quarry rock when replacing or adding rail beds.

The quarry will also produce various sizes of aggregate and gravel for other customers as well, Bennett said.

“Kitsumkalum has purchased an interest in Terrace Redi-Mix Ltd.,” said Bennett. “Once we got the rock quarry contracts going we thought we’d get involved in cement products.”

Finer materials from the quarry can also be used in making concrete.

Most of the material for local concrete now comes from a sand and gravel pit near Deep Creek and Kitsumkalum also has an interest in that operation, said Bennett.