The Hudson Bay Rail Line Repair Story (and Other Good News)

Apr 14, 2020

With our non-essential services teams working from home over the last few weeks, and our critical operations field teams on sites and in compliance with government regulations, we’ve been thinking a lot about good news stories—and we want to share this very special one with you.

The Hudson Bay Rail Line To Churchill

Paradox Access Solutions is proud to have worked on the restoration of the Hudson Bay Rail Line to Churchill in northern Manitoba, along with our engineering partner for this project, Stratum Logics.

The Challenge

The project—owned by Arctic Gateway Group—began September 4, 2018 and immediate remediation on approximately 30 washed-out sections that totaled just under two kilometers was completed in November 2018.

Celebrating the Hudson Bay Rail Line repairs

The rail line is the only land access to Churchill and this project has impacted the citizens of Churchill, who depend on the line for the delivery of necessities to the community, as well as the more than 40 First Nations communities in the area. The paradox is proud that these necessities are now being delivered to the citizens of the impacted communities.

Being part of the team chosen to restore the town of Churchill’s access to essential commodities after a flood washed out approximately 30 sections of the railway (over a distance of nearly two kilometers) in early 2017, is a project the team will not soon forget.

READ: Brandon Sun—Cando awarded a contract to repair Churchill rail line

Located in the far north of the province of Manitoba, the town of Churchill—as well as more than 40 First Nations communities in the town’s vicinity—rely on the Hudson Bay Rail Line for access to necessities, that those of us living in less remote areas often take for granted.

Paradox Access Solutions labourers repair the Hudson Bay Rail LineHow did we accomplish this rail line repair, and in such a short timeframe?

By using our patented Tough Cell® technology.

“This is state-of-the-art technology has never really been tried before in Canada. It’s been utilized around the world, but not in Canada,” said Marc Breault, President at Paradox Access Solutions, in an interview with CBC News.

WATCH: Paradox on CBC National—Trains Rolling in Churchill Again

The Technology

A typical railway must be able to withstand the most challenging demands—weather combined with the weight, speed and frequency of loads traveling its rails. Add in a curveball like a permafrost or a muskeg and you could have a nightmare on your hands.

That’s where Paradox’s Tough Cell® technology joins the conversation. Tough Cell—a cellular confinement and soil stabilization product made of Novel Polymeric Alloy (NPA) geocells—is uniquely suited to constructing a railway in permafrost and muskeg areas, where an unstable substrate can lead to lateral spreading of ballast and differential settlement of the railbed.

Tough Cell geocells help create solid foundations for the Hudson Bay Rail Line repairsTough Cell’s honeycomb structure provides lateral restraint of ballast—and leads to the entire track settling together. That extends the life of the railbed and lowers the cost of maintenance.

Proper application of Tough Cell in permafrost conditions can also prevent melting, which further preserves railbed integrity. Compared to conventional ground stabilization methods, Tough Cell requires less construction time, is more cost-effective, and has a significantly smaller carbon footprint.

The Benefits

Combining the expertise of world-class geotechnical engineering with Tough Cell’s proven track record of success in railways under all conditions—including permafrost.

Paradox builds safe, stable railways that lower your costs, and offer these advantages and benefits:


  • Reinforces track substructure, and stabilizes ballast layers
  • Provides lateral restraint (versus the lateral spread of traditional railbed construction)
  • Reduced settlement of ballast materials and fouling by subgrade attrition


  • Increased strength and resilience
  • Reduced maintenance
  • The lower total cost of ownership

Hudson Bay Rail Line Repairs

The Results

Paradox completed the project in under two months—ahead of schedule, on quality, and on budget. If you have questions about our Tough Cell solutions for rail (or any other access solution), contact

WATCH: Mission Possible—Paradox Restores Rail Line in Under 60 Days

We’re also excited to share some additional pieces of media coverage we’ve received over the past few years.

From The Archives

Our president, Marc Breault, has authored editorial content for industry publications and below you’ll find some of his most recent published articles. We’ve also dug deep into our archives to share some vault worthy stories with you here:

President’s Articles

From the Vault

Related Blogs

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