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Canadian Railroads > Kettle Falls International files abandonment notice.


Date: 01/29/11 16:22
Kettle Falls International files abandonment notice.
Author: eminence_grise

Omnitrax's Kettle Falls International Railway has filed a notice to abandon their line from Kettle Falls WA. to Grand Forks BC, with both the US and Canadian Governments.

The line in question is shown highlighted on a GN 1969 map. The portion beyond Grand Forks to Republic WA. has been abandoned in stages, first from San Poil to Republic in the 1980's, later San Poil to Curlew, and finally Danville WA. (the US community beside Grand Forks BC).

The previous abandonments reflect the closure of lumber mills in the US. The recent recession saw one shipper in Grand Forks BC shut down for good, and the Pope & Talbot sawmill closed while the US parent company went bankrupt.

After CP abandoned their line to Grand Forks in 1988, a small railway , the Grand Forks Railway Company was set up in 1993 to handle the business in Grand Forks BC, and hand the traffic over to the BN.

The trackage in the US has an FRA mandated speed limit of 10 mph due to track condition. Transport Canada applied a similar restriction on the Canadian trackage.

The slow track speed means that a crew cannot complete a tour of duty in twelve hours.

Under Canadian law, a railway may apply to abandon if there is insufficient traffic for the operation to be profitable in the foreseeable future.

KFIR and the Regional District of Grand Forks had a consultant study the feasibility of extending the Grand Forks Railway Company to take over the KFIR to Kettle Falls WA. He concluded that it would cost too much to repair the KFIR tracks.

In all likelyhood, the KFIR Grand Forks branch will be abandoned in 2011.

Under previous Canadian regulations, railway abandonment notices had to be displayed in public places. The second image shows CP's notice to abandon their line to Grand Forks. At the time, BN and the Regional District responded to the notice and the Grand Forks Railway Company was established after public hearings.






Date: 01/29/11 16:28
Re: Kettle Falls International files abandonment notice
Author: eminence_grise

In January 1988, the BN Kettle Falls - Grand Forks local is seen westbound at Orient WA., crossing the Canadian Border at Laurier WA./Cascade BC (setting off a carload of BN ties on the trans-border spur), and entering the interchange to the CPR at Grand Forks BC.

Note the slash line denoting the US/Canada border on the mountains in the background, carried out during the Nixon administration.








Date: 01/29/11 17:40
Re: Kettle Falls International files abandonment notice
Author: TCnR

I'm guessing that this is the line that crosses the cool looking old bridge at Kettle Falls? Any idea if the bridge is part of the abandonment?
Thanks, great area but haven't been through there in a long time.



Date: 01/29/11 19:38
Re: Kettle Falls International files abandonment notice
Author: robj

Attached a photo of former Omnitrax KF unit in Oregon, Illinois. As a coincidence part of the operation here is a branch to a printing plant formerly Quad Graphics at Mt. Morris, now a new owner closing it down shortly, used to get box cars of paper for the plant, probably branch closed shortly.

Paper downturn is probably permanent(and construction for a while) leading to loss of interesting rail lines and of course employment for many.

Bob Jordan




Date: 01/30/11 03:28
Re: Kettle Falls International files abandonment notice
Author: ghCBNS

Here's some shots at Grand Forks BC in December 2006.

Grand Forks RR #6703 is just retuning to the mill site after setting out some cars on the interchange track with the Kettle Falls RR. Also a shot of the former CPR Station (now a restaurant)








Date: 01/30/11 10:28
Re: Kettle Falls International files abandonment notice
Author: eminence_grise

TCnR Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm guessing that this is the line that crosses
> the cool looking old bridge at Kettle Falls? Any
> idea if the bridge is part of the abandonment?
> Thanks, great area but haven't been through there
> in a long time.


Yes, this is the line. That bridge and the south end of the Republic branch were relocated when the Grand Coulee Dam created Lake Roosevelt in the 1940's. The junction was previously at Marcus WA., which was the headquarters of the GN Marcus Div.

The GN had yet another crossing of the Columbia at Northport WA., where the narrow guage Red Mountain Railway crossed en route to the silver mines at Rossland BC.



Date: 01/30/11 10:44
Re: Kettle Falls International files abandonment notice
Author: eminence_grise

In 1988, following the abolishment of CP's Grand Forks switcher, the CP Nelson-Grand Forks freight carried out the switching in Grand Forks, and the BN Grand Forks local came north over the Carson spur and picked up in the CP yard in Grand Forks.

The CP freight is shown backing into their yard with lumber loads from the Pope & Talbot mill.

The BN local is shown passing the CP (former Columbia & Western) station in Grand Forks. The BN conductor is picking up a switch list and waybills from a lock box while the brakeman lines the freight into the yard.

Although the station was closed, a mobile CP station agent , Reg Greenlee delivered the waybills by automobile and was either there in person or on the radio to help with the switching.

By 1988, the westernmost portion of the Boundary Sub. from Grand Forks to Midway was out of service.








Date: 01/30/11 13:59
Re: Kettle Falls International files abandonment notice
Author: ontrail

OMG..
i just googled earth this area..what a beautiful part of the mountains..
The rail is very interesting..



Date: 01/30/11 14:59
Re: Kettle Falls International files abandonment notice
Author: eminence_grise

There is all sorts of history connected to Grand Forks.

With the coming of electricity in the 1900's, copper prices went through the roof, and the "Boundary" region of BC was rich in copper ore.

In the hills west of Grand Forks, a huge copper mine was developed at Phoenix, with a copper smelter at Granby , just north of Grand Forks.

The GN was the first railroad to serve Phoenix, with the CPR arriving second.

Other mines, concentrators and smelters were established at Greenwood and Boundary Falls on the CP.

An entrepreneur named Augustus Hines established the lead/zinc smelter at Trail BC, and in time created Consolidated Mining and Smelting (Cominco) which took over most of the mining and smelting of copper in the West Kootenay and Boundary regions of BC.

Canadian Pacific purchased Cominco and controlled the mining and smelting industry in the area until they sold to Teck Corporation in the 1990's during a downturn in the mining industry.



Date: 01/30/11 17:33
Re: Kettle Falls International files abandonment notice
Author: spider1319

Are all the mills now closed in Grand Forks?We were there about two years ago and Pope and Talbot was closed but supposedly going to reopen.So the only remaining rail traffic is the hopper cars off the BN wye.Bill Webb



Date: 01/30/11 19:25
Re: Kettle Falls International files abandonment notice
Author: eminence_grise

spider1319 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Are all the mills now closed in Grand Forks?We
> were there about two years ago and Pope and Talbot
> was closed but supposedly going to reopen.So the
> only remaining rail traffic is the hopper cars off
> the BN wye.Bill Webb

The Pope & Talbot mill has reopened under new ownership. I'm unsure whether Canadian Particle Board is going to re-open. Columbia Abrasives is the only shipper that did not close during the recession. Sadly, as a producer of a high bulk, low value commodity, the abrasive mill will be worst hit by the line closure if it happens.

Columbia Abrasives has been recycling slag from the Granby and Greenwood smelters into fine grinding grit.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/30/11 19:27 by eminence_grise.



Date: 01/31/11 09:02
Re: Kettle Falls International files abandonment notice
Author: spider1319

When I chased the BNSF prior to Kettle Falls International taking over there was quite a bit business at a reload at Cascade,BC just north/west of Laurier,Wa although mostly forest products.In addition,at Curlew, Pope and Talbot had a reload.Last visit Curlew reload was gone, of course, but didn't look at the reload in BC.Bill Webb



Date: 01/31/11 22:02
Re: Kettle Falls International files abandonment notice
Author: eminence_grise

spider1319 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> When I chased the BNSF prior to Kettle Falls
> International taking over there was quite a bit
> business at a reload at Cascade,BC just north/west
> of Laurier,Wa although mostly forest products.In
> addition,at Curlew, Pope and Talbot had a
> reload.Last visit Curlew reload was gone, of
> course, but didn't look at the reload in BC.Bill
> Webb

Here is the eastbound Grand Forks-Kettle Falls local switching the reload at Cascade BC in 2004.

On the same day, the Grand Fork Railway Company is shown switching the Roxul particle board factory at Grand Forks.

In the background is the blue painted gas pipeline which uses the CP abandoned right of way from Cascade BC through Grand Forks. The gas pipeline company has converted the railway right of way into a hiking/biking trail. The British Army Engineers rebuilt the railway bridges to handle the gas pipe and a hiking trail.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/31/11 22:15 by eminence_grise.








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