Many from Tumbler Ridge will remember how hard Mayor Clay Iles and others fought BC Rail a few years ago. Their battle was to stop them from removing the tracks that went from the Bullmoose load out area north of town to the old Quintette mine to the south. Sadly, workmen turned up and the rails were removed; this was a psychological blow to a lot of people in Tumbler.
Over the last couple of weeks the workmen have returned, this time with new ties and enough machinery to lay a new track. Just two kilometres north of Tumbler Ridge, next to highway 29, the railway line that was removed is now being replaced. A new gravel bed has already been laid, currently the new ties are being put into place, and then the rails will be fitted. It is not known whether this line will be electrified like the old one that was removed, or whether the rail company will use diesel locomotives. The old electric trains were specially made for the Tumbler Ridge coal line, and it is unclear if these trains are still available or whether they have been dismantled.
Although no coal is yet ready to be moved from around where Quintette mine used to be, there is obviously an expectation by the railroad owners that things are about to happen.
For many who have struggled over the last few years, but have been determined to stay in Tumbler Ridge, events like this are major signs that the economic corner has been turned.