Thursday, November 09, 2017

Logging railroad shut down after 100 years

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A log train crosses one of the spectacular bridges on the Englewood Railway, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. A log train crosses one of the spectacular bridges on the Englewood Railway, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. YouTube

One of the last logging railroads in North America ended a century-long run Nov. 6 as Englewood Railway ceased operations on Vancouver Island off Canada’s West Coast.

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Video of the Englewood Railway in operation. Steve Barre

“This announcement is consistent with the company’s ongoing efforts to reduce costs and strengthen its competitiveness,” said owner Western Forest Products, a publicly-held corporation headquartered in Vancouver. “Logs will be transported by truck at a lower cost to create efficiencies in the transportation of logs to its mills from northern Vancouver Island forestry operations.”

At its peak, Englewood employed 34 people, with offices in Woss, WFP said. All positions will be eliminated in the closure, although WFP anticipated that the shift of rail employees to other positions could bring total job losses to less than 15. The company employs 600 on northern Vancouver Island.

The shutdown follows an incident in April when a train rolled away from a Woss reload yard and collided with a track maintenance vehicle, killing three workers and injuring two.

Western said it “remains focused on ensuring the safe, competitive, long-term viability of its operations for the benefit of its employees, shareholders, and the communities in which it operates.”

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