Regina, SK — The Saskatchewan government says it has secured commitments from three shortline railways in the province to buy its fleet of nearly 900 hopper cars for $9.7 million.
A statement issued by the government says Big Sky Rail Corp. will purchase 663 units from the Saskatchewan Grain Car Corp.
Another 150 will be sold to Great Western Railway Ltd., while the remaining 85 will go to Great Sandhills Railway.
Saskatchewan’s 13 commercial shortline railways were given first priority to purchase the hopper cars when the sales process was started in late March.
An evaluation committee that included representatives from the grain car corporation, Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure, an independent consultant, legal counsel and a fairness adviser, reviewed all the offers.
Final details of the sales agreements are still being worked out, but it’s expected they will be finalized in the next two to three months.
“With approximately 14 years of service life remaining, the fleet still has value in the industry,” said David Marit, the minister responsible for the grain car corporation. “Selling the cars to our shortlines means they will continue to move commodities grown by Saskatchewan producers.”