Rail Embankment Stabilization Needs on the Hudson Bay Railway


PI:  Thomas Oommen

Hudson Bay Railway (HBR)is a key trade link that connects domestic origins and destinations in Canada and the United States with the export origins and destinations in Europe through the Port of Churchill. Over the last 80 years, the deterioration of the HBR embankment due to thawing discontinuous permafrost, combined with poor geotechnical properties of the muskeg soil has caused significant challenges in maintaining the HBR line. Warming climate has further added to this challenge, causing major concern for the owner of the line, Omnitrax. Developing sustainable methods to reliably identify, monitor, and mitigate issues along the transportation infrastructure in cold regions is critical for safe and efficient operations.

The objectives of this research are:

1. Defining a rating system for severity of railway conditions in permafrost affected areas.

2. Designing a “Best Practices Guide” to diagnose, document and perform corrective actions addressing each severity rating.

3. Creating a long term solution for embankment stability.

Thomas Oommen
Thomas Oommen