The Port of Churchill and Hudson Bay Rail line infrastructure was constructed in the 1930’s to facilitate:
- the export of grain and commodities from Western Canada;
- import of industrial goods to the Northern Hemisphere;
- northern industrial and community development and resupply of goods;
- Canada’s strategic requirement for defense and sovereignty.
During the 1930’s the Port of Churchill exported quantities of honey, lumber, and livestock. Throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s the Port was used to import automobiles, liquor, pipe, tractors, transmission towers, machinery, and sodium nitrate. Products that were exported included wheat, cobalt oxide, and nickel slabs.
Until 1997 the Port was owned by the Government of Canada through a crown corporation called Ports Canada. In 1997 the Canadian government was divesting its interest in many crown corporations and sold the Port to OmniTRAX owned by The Broe Group and headquartered in Denver, Colorado. During this time the government also privatized Canadian National Railway who operated the rail line between The Pas and Churchill. In the same year Canadian National Railway sold the line to OmniTRAX the current owner and operator of Hudson Bay Railway.