Hay River chugs along

Hay River chugs along
Hay River is home to the northern most railhead.Photo: CN Railway.

Hay River is home to the Northwest Territories’ only railroad line, the northernmost railhead in Canada. Formally known as the Mackenzie Northern Railway, the 585-km line runs to Peace River, Alta. It also connects up to High Level at the 310-km mark.

Canadian National Railway (CN), who built the railroad North in the 1960s when it was the Great Slave Lake Railway, purchased the line in 2006, renaming it the Meander River subdivision.

The company also bought 157 acres on the west side of the Mackenzie Highway from the Hay River town council in 2007 for an expanded offloading site.

Choo Choo Choo-ing Facts in the North:

  • CN operates one train North into Hay River per day and one train back south
  • Trains run into Hay River six days a week
  • CN has moved 2,700 cars into Hay River in 2012
  • CN has invested $2.4 million into capital improvements for rail networks from Northern Alberta to Hay River over the past couple years
  • CN employs three people who work out of Hay River

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