The railroad

The iron ore concentrate produced at Mont-Wright is transported by a 420-kilometer railroad with 20 bridges and five tunnels. Every day, five empty trains leave for the mining complex to bring back concentrate. The round trip, loading, unloading and preparation operations take a total of around 35 hours.

Most trains are drawn by two engines and carry 15,000 metric tons of concentrate in 160 wagons. AMIC also uses convoys of 200 wagons, drawn by three engines, and containing 19,000 metric tons of concentrate. This composition reduces rail traffic and increases availability of the railroad for maintenance.

In addition to the main track, there are 18 sidings, the Mont-Wright loop and the loop and station depot at the Port-Cartier terminus, making a total of 537 kilometers of track. Rigorous inspections and maintenance programmes are carried out on the railroad using leading-edge instruments and specialist vehicles. Two permanent and three seasonal camps set up along the railroad are used to accommodate the personnel assigned to railroad maintenance.

The rolling stock consists of thirty or so engines and more than 2,900 wagons: 1,270 for concentrate, 70 for raw ore and some 570 utility wagons, for goods and fuel delivered to Mont-Wright in particular. The setup also includes around a hundred vehicles dedicated to railroad maintenance, which include machines that are impressive due to their size and function. AMIC has several specialist workshops to maintain all this equipment.

In addition to delivering the concentrate, the railroad is used to carry raw ore between Fire Lake and Mont-Wright (trains with sixty or so waggons), bulk goods and timber to the Port-Cartier sawmills for a company called Arbec.

The railroad team consists of around 430 employees and seasonal workers mainly assigned to railroad maintenance.