Photo: Steve Green and Richard Whittaker
Two adventure riders made the trip north to Polar Bear Town, a.k.a. Churchill, Manitoba, on the heavily damaged rail line, and they think it’s fixable.
You might have heard in the news that the rail line to Churchill is damaged, with repairs months away. While the port facilities are still open, the railway is Churchill’s only land link to the rest of Canada. The US-based owner of the rail line says it can’t assess damage until it sends personnel to check out the destruction from flooding, and says the line won’t be fixed for a year. That’s bad news for the town, which needs the rail line open for supplies and for tourism.
However, two Colorado-based motorcyclists didn’t know about the damage, and decided to ride to Churchill this spring. They found out about the flooding while they were en route, but pressed on, finding the rail line had dried out.
The riders (Steve Green and Richard Whittaker) aren’t civil engineers or railway experts, but they did think the rail line was indeed fixable more easily than the initial reports suggested. They took photos of much of the damage of the way, to aid rebuilding attempts.
You can read the CBC’s piece on Green and Whittaker here. It sounds like the men were minor celebrities once they arrived in Churchill; not many riders make it that far north, and land-based travelers arriving in town after the demise of the rail line must surely be a sign of hope for the isolated community.