Manitoba's Shortline Railways

Shortline railways (SLRs) are a vital part of Manitoba's transportation system. These railways move thousands of passengers and tonnes of goods over approximately 526 km of track in Manitoba each year. They provide important links between remote delivery and distribution points and the main railways such as CN and CP.

Manitoba currently has five shortline railways (SLRs):

  • Boundary Trail Railway Company Inc. runs between Morden to Manitou
  • Central Manitoba Railway Inc. runs from Winnipeg to both Carman and East Selkirk
  • Keewatin Railway Company runs between Cranberry Portage to Pukatawagan
  • Lake Line Railroad Inc. runs between Beausejour to Molson and from Selkirk to Gimli
  • Prairie Dog Central Railway runs between Winnipeg to Warren

The shortline railways are governed the Provincial Railways Act and licensed by the Manitoba government. A Railway Safety Officer ensures the railways are operating safely and within the regulatory requirements.

Superintendent of Railways

Beginning March 1, 2019, as part of the Traffic and Transportation Modernization initiative, the Motor Transport Board is eliminated and no longer issues operating authorities for short line railway industries. The Superintendent of Railways is now responsible for providing oversight of shortline railways in Manitoba.

The Superintendent of Railways:

  • issues licences to short line railway industries
  • suspends or revokes a licence or approval issued if the licencee is in non-compliance with The Provincial Railways Act
  • issues orders under The Provincial Railways Act or the terms and conditions of the licence or approval
  • approves expropriations for SLR construction or alteration

Shortline Railway Concerns

If you have a concern about a shortline railway, please email the Railway Safety Officer or call 204-945-3890.

If you see a railway crossing that is damaged or not working correctly, please contact the railway directly. Their emergency contact information will be on a sticker attached to the sign post or signal mast.

Prospective Railway Operators

If you are interested in operating a shortline railway, you can read more about the basic process on this website, or contact the Motor Carrier Branch.

Shortline Railway Operators