Bayside Canadian Railway

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Bayside Canadian Railway
Overview
Dates of operation2012–
Technical
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length70 meters (220 feet)

Coordinates: 45°09′31″N 67°08′23″W / 45.15869°N 67.13971°W / 45.15869; -67.13971

Bayside Canadian Railway highlighted in violet

The Bayside Canadian Railway is an extremely short railway in Bayside, New Brunswick, Canada. Its apparent sole purpose is to perform as a Canadian railway, to take advantage of a loophole in the Jones Act that would normally forbid the use of foreign-flagged vessels in shipping between two U.S. ports.[1][2]

Usage[edit]

Shipping companies Kloosterboer International and Alaska Reefer Management (both part of American Seafoods Group) ship frozen pollock from Dutch Harbor (Alaska), via the Panama Canal to the Eastern United States.[1] The Jones Act requires the use of U.S.-flagged vessels when shipping between two U.S. ports, but there is an exemption,[3] the so-called third proviso,[4] when part of the route is over Canadian rail lines. American Seafoods has been using foreign-flagged shipping "for years",[2] and, until 2012, they used a 30-mile long route of shipping by the New Brunswick Southern Railway.[2] However, in 2012, this practice had changed such that the fish was transferred to trucks in Bayside, the truck driving up a loading ramp onto one of two flatbed railcars. Then a tiny shunter locomotive pulled the cars to the other end of the railroad track, reversed and pushed the train back to the loading ramp, after which the truck would drive off the ramp and then enter the US via Calais, Maine.[2]

Court case[edit]

On August 16, 2021, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) gave American Seafoods notice of $350 million in penalties for alleged violations of the Jones Act.[5] CBP claimed that the Bayside Canadian Railway is not a "through route" and that the proviso in the Jones Act therefore does not apply.[1]

The company sued in federal court, arguing the penalties prevented them from delivering their product, interfering with the affordable supply of pollock for school lunches. A judge allowed the current practice to continue awaiting litigation. However, it appears as if Kloosterboer switched to Russian imported fish by August 19, 2021.[5]

Description[edit]

The railway consists of a single track of about 70 metres (220 ft), two flatbed rail cars, one FTD Trackmobile railcar mover and a loading ramp.

A video[6] on YouTube shows the entire return trip to take about 45 seconds.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c American Seafoods May Continue Jones Act "Canadian Rail" Route Oct 12, 2021, The Maritime Executive
  2. ^ a b c d America's Filet-O-Fish supply chain travels through Canada. That may change. Hayes Brown, Oct 13 2021, MSNBC
  3. ^ Pub. L. 66-261 AN ACT To provide for the promotion and maintenance of the American merchant marine, to repeal certain emergency legislation, and provide for the disposition, regulation, and use of property acquired thereunder, and for other purposes. June 5, 1920. 988
  4. ^ Jones Act “Third Proviso” in the News, Charlie Papavizas, sept 2, 2021, Winston & Strawn LLP
  5. ^ a b "CBP: Bayside "Canadian Rail" Facility Switched to Russian Seafood". The Maritime Executive. October 8, 2021. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  6. ^ Bayside Canadian Railway, Kloosterboer Terminal, 2015 Brian Golding, US. Customs and Border Protection, on YouTube