Cando eyes summer start to rail-terminal business

Former Weyerhaeuser sawmill site in Kamloops to become an "inland port"

Andrea Klassen – Kamloops This Week

A new rail terminal located at the former Weyerhaeuser Co. sawmill site should be up and running this summer, according to the CEO of Cando Rail Services.

The Manitoba-based company purchased the site for slightly less than $5.1 million last month and will spend between $7 and $10 million on development, according to CEO Brian Cornick.

Work on the 36-acre property on Mission Flats will begin in February, with start-up likely between June and August.

Cornick said the site will be used for rail-car storage, transferring shipments from truck to railcar and maintenance services, as well as administrative operations.

The company works with both major rail lines, but Cornick said the company’s main focus is helping clients, including various mines, get their product on rails.

“When they want to put ore into a railcar, we would do that,” he said.

“We would move the rail cars around in their yard. We would block and marshal them so, if they had 100 ore cars, we would put those together and put them in a system so CN or CP could just come in and haul them away.”

In B.C., Cornick said Cando will target both mines and interior pulp and paper mills.

No client agreements have yet been finalized.

Cornick said the company does not plan to have dangerous goods on the site, though it might store empty oil cars from time to time.

As part of its environmental certification, Cando will be required to do periodic soil testing.

While the company announced last week its expansion into B.C. could create hundreds of jobs, Cornick said no more than 50 would be based in Kamloops, with about 10 to 20 employees needed to start.

Those positions will include train engineers, conductors, truck drivers and office staff.

Interest in the positions is already running high.

“I think we’ve received just over 50 applications already,” Cornick said. “So, it gives us time to look through everything and decide who do we want to hire and why.”

Cando has yet to make final decisions on two assets acquired when it purchased the sawmill site: nearby Rabbit Island and the building that once housed Weyerhaeuser’s headquarters.

Cornick said the company is interested in subdividing the building and selling it to an interested party.

“There’s no requirement for us to use something like that,” he said.

Rabbit Island, meanwhile, could become some sort of park space.

 

The company is consulting with the City of Kamloops on the island’s ultimate fate.

 

 

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