OmniTRAX, Inc is one of North America’s largest private railroad and transportation management companies with interests in railroads, terminals, ports and industrial real estate. OmniTRAX operates a network of 21 regional and short line railroads that cover 12 states in the US and 3 provinces in Canada. The company’s railroads have interchanges with BNSF, CN, CSXT, NS & UP, and transport commodities within the Agricultural, Aggregate & Industrial Mineral, Energy, Food, Crude Oil, Chemical, Lumber, Metal, Petroleum and Plastic industries.
OmniTRAX-managed railroads include:
- Alabama & Tennessee River Railway, L.L.C.
- Alliance Terminal Railroad, L.L.C.
- Carlton Trail Railway Company
- Chicago Rail Link, L.L.C.
- Decatur Central Railroad
- Fulton County Railway, L.L.C.
- Georgia & Florida Railway, Inc.
- Georgia Woodlands Railroad, L.L.C.
- Great Western Railway of Colorado, L.L.C.
- Hudson Bay Railway Company
- Illinois Railway, Inc.
- Operates the Peru Industrial Railroad
- Kettle Falls International Railway, L.L.C.
- Manufacturers' Junction Railway, L.L.C.
- Nebraska Kansas Colorado Railway, Inc.
- Newburgh & South Shore Railroad, L.L.C.
- Northern Ohio & Western Railway, L.L.C.
- Panhandle Northern Railroad, L.L.C.
- Sand Springs Railway Company
- Stockton Terminal and Eastern Railroad
OmniTRAX-managed ports include:
In 1997 CN sold the Port of Churchill and accompanying rail line to OnmiTrax as part of the privatization of CN. OmniTrax operated the railway for the ensuing two decades, shipping mostly Wheat to the Port of Churchill on behalf of the Canadian Wheat Board.
In June 2017, Omnitrax suspended service on the Churchill rail line after severe flooding washed out the line in multiple locations. Omnitrax refused to repair the railway, claiming it was not economically feasible. The company claimed that due to the closure of the Canadian Wheat Board in 2008, it was no longer economical to operate the line or the Port of Churchill. As part of a 2008 contract between the Federal Government and OmniTRAX, the Government of Canada had given OmniTRAX $20M CAD for upgrades to both the Railway and Port with the agreement that the company would match the funds. However, the contract stipulated that OmniTRAX could not reduce or abandon service on the line, or the funding would be required to be returned.
On 13 October 2017, Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr issued a notice of default to OmniTRAX, advising the company that they had 30 days to make repairs to the rail line or face default on the agreement. On 14 November the Federal Government issued a notice of default against OmniTRAX claiming $18M CAD, plus interest. In response, the company filed a complaint through NAFTA Chapter 11 claiming the Canadian Federal Government had sabotaged efforts to repair and transfer ownership of the railway.
- "Omnitrax says it can break contract with Ottawa after government intervention, flooding". CBC News. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
- "Statement by the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, on Rail Service to Churchill, Manitoba". www.newswire.ca. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
- "Ottawa sues rail company behind Churchill, Man., standoff". CBC News. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
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