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CPR West Cap Expansion

PNR RailWorks played a pivotal role in expanding capacity on CPR's main line between Mosse Jaw, Saskatchewan, and Vancouver in British Columbia.
Project Highlights 
  • 37 miles of track construction
  • Built long sidings and yard expansions
  • Construction between Saskatchewan and Vancouver
  • Work completed next to active main line
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR)
Business Unit 
PNR RailWorks
Project Description 

PNR RailWorks worked side by side with CPR crews on the railway’s $160 million Western Capacity Expansion project (“West Cap”).

Project Scope 

PNR RailWorks constructed several, long passing sidings and yard expansions as well as a second main line track from Saskatchewan through Calgary, Alberta, to Vancouver, totaling 37 miles of track. Work was completed amid ongoing train operations during the short May-to-October work season.

The project increased CPR’s rail capacity in this area by more than 400 freight cars per day to accommodate rapidly increasing imports and exports moving through the Port of Vancouver.

Unique Features 

To facilitate rapid new track construction alongside mainline track in operation, PNR RailWorks developed an innovative concrete tie-laying process. A hydraulic hoist grabs ties prearranged in groups of seven off stacked pallets at the work site. The hoist lowers the ties into position along a plumb line, automatically spreading them to the designated spacing. Workers then manually install tie pads. After rail is threaded into place using a boom-equipped crane (Pettibone Speedswing) rolling along the adjacent track, workers manually install the insulators and e-clips. Although not as fast as an automated new-track construction machine, this process was extremely efficient. Crews of about 15 workers laid up to 1,100 ties per day, while temporarily clearing the right of way of on-going traffic.