Port traffic propels rail workforce across northern B.C. transportation corridor

Dangerous Goods Officer, John Nicoletti, lives and works in his hometown of Prince George.

Port traffic propels rail workforce across northern B.C. transportation corridor

Meet two people working in rail safety and logistics, supporting jobs across western Canada

Nov. 8, 2021 | IMPRESS

The transportation corridor that connects northern B.C. communities to the Port of Prince Rupert is vital to the economic well-being of the region. Rail and trucking account for 1,680 of the 3,700 jobs that directly contribute to trade through Canada’s third largest port, helping Western Canadian products reach consumers around the globe.

Rail offers one of the safest and most efficient ways to transport cargo through northern B.C. to and from the marine terminals at the Port. From containers and grain cars to bulk liquids and wood pellets, there is a diverse range of goods that move through the rail corridor, helping generate $1.5 billion in economic activity for communities in the region.

CN’s Dangerous Goods Officer, John Nicoletti, plays an important role in supporting the safety of rail operations in communities throughout most of northern B.C., from Prince Rupert east to McBride and from Williams Lake north to Fort Nelson.

“Being in Dangerous Goods, as part of the larger safety organization at CN, means something to me,” said Nicoletti, who was born and raised in Prince George. “I live here, I’m familiar with the region, and this is where I want to be.”

Nicoletti has worked for CN for 15 years in a wide variety of roles, including conductor, locomotive engineer, yardmaster and more. In his current position, Nicoletti provides his expertise to emergency responders in communities along CN’s rail line through sharing resources and offering hands-on training.

Over the past several months, Nicoletti has worked with safety partners to coordinate industry-specific, live fire training for first responders in communities along the corridor. Nicoletti says, “the goal is to provide them with the experience and tools they need, and on a personal level it’s great that I can do my part to help move goods across the line as safely as possible.”

University of Northern BC alum, Brenna Boyle, lives and works in her hometown of Prince Rupert.

Ensuring her company’s goods move efficiently across that same line is one of Brenna Boyle’s key responsibilities. As Pinnacle Renewable Energy’s Rail Traffic Manager, Boyle supports the transportation of millions of tonnes of wood pellets from Pinnacle Renewable Energy’s plants in B.C. and Alberta by rail to its marine terminal in Prince Rupert, where they are loaded onto bulk carriers bound for Asia and Europe.

“In addition to transporting products to Westview Wood Pellet Terminal, I also organize the distribution of the rail cars back to all of Pinnacle’s facilities in western Canada, so they are ready to load the next shipment,” said Boyle.

Prior to serving as Rail Traffic Manager, Boyle was Assistant Terminal Manager at Westview Terminal, which saw a 33 percent increase in volumes last year. “Moving into this new role is an exciting challenge, that requires significant planning and coordination, and I’m proud to know the work I do helps support jobs across northern B.C. and beyond.”

Find out how rail workers and others directly employed in the Prince Rupert Gateway have contributed to the $60 billion in trade that moved through the Port of Prince Rupert last year at www.rupertport.com/economic-impact/

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