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NOVA Chemicals Joffre Rail Yard Expansion

Project Highlights 
  • Constructed 32,000 TF of steel-tie track
  • Constructed 8,000 TF of wood-tie track
  • Constructed 34 steel-tie turnouts
  • Constructed 6 wood-tie turnouts
Joffre, Alberta
NOVA Chemicals
Business Unit 
PNR RailWorks
Project Description 

PNR RailWorks constructed additional track to expand capacity at NOVA Chemical’s Joffre Railyard, serving one the largest ethylene and polyethylene production complexes in the world.  

Project Scope 

PNR RailWorks expanded the capacity at the NOVA Chemicals plant facility in central Alberta, just east of Red Deer. Crews constructed more than 40,000 feet of track and 40 turnouts to expand the rail yard’s capacity by approximately 450 rail cars.

Crews began unloading materials in late July 2014 and construction began in late August 2014. Work started in the existing F-Yard,  a fully operational yard, utilizing wood ties.  In November 2014, crews began work in the new G-Yard, a greenfield construction site, utilizing all steel ties.

The biggest challenges were project delays and winter work.  The project was significantly delayed due to weather, which encumbered the civil works contractor from completing the sub ballast.  Crews worked through the winter months and completed the project on time and without any injuries.

This track expansion significantly upgrades NOVA’s car capacity, giving the plant the ability to stage more consists ready for transport in from or out to CN’s network. This plant manufactures food grade polyethylene pellets for a number of uses in a variety of different industries.