VANCOUVER, B.C. - Western Forest Products Inc. announced the closure of its Englewood logging train, said to be the last such train line dedicated to logging still in operation.
The move, part of ongoing efforts to reduce costs, means logs will be transported by truck at a lower cost, which management says will create efficiencies in the transportation of logs to its mills from northern Vancouver Island forestry operations.
At peak operations, the train employed 34 people. As a result of the closure of the train, these positions will be eliminated. Employees and union representatives are working with Western FOrest Products to find openings for the impacted employees to transition to other positions within its operations. Accordingly, the reduction in overall jobs is anticipated to be fewer than 15.
Western employs over 3,500 directly or as contractors on the West Coast, of which 600 are directly employed on northern Vancouver Island.
Western Forest Products is an integrated Canadian forest products company and is the largest coastal British Columbia woodland operator and lumber producer. The Company has an annual available harvest of approximately 6.1 million cubic metres of timber, of which approximately 5.9 million cubic metres is from Crown lands. Western has a lumber capacity in excess of 1.1 billion board feet from seven sawmills and one remanufacturing plant. Principal activities conducted by the Company include timber harvesting, reforestation, sawmilling logs into lumber and wood chips, and value added remanufacturing. Substantially all of Western's operations, employees and corporate facilities are located in the coastal region of British Columbia, with sales worldwide.