Mary River Project Rail Infrastructure

Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation | Canada | 2011–2012

28,000 tonnes
shipped in
2 months

Over 500 people
housed on site

700 jobs

800,000 manhours
with 0 LTIs


  • Located 500 km north of Canada’s Arctic Circle, severe climate and conditions posed significant technical and logistical challenges.
  • The southern third of the railway corridor was in severe rock topography, raising significant rock-fall concerns.
  • Ice-rich soils and deep permafrost along the railway corridor required critical and innovative geotechnical solutions to construct rail embankments.
  • Frozen ocean conditions limited bulk resupply and shipments to a 70-day window in late summer. All other transport was by aircraft from local communities and southern Canada.


  • Completed optimization study of preliminary railway-infrastructure-design elements done by others to identify cost-saving innovations and measures.
  • Executed detailed design of the main-railway-corridor civil works, including bridges and culverts; design of both yard-terminal tracks, sidings, and railway communication systems; and associated foundation.


  • Conducted two railway risk workshops.
  • As part of the preliminary design, a Monte Carlo simulation modeled the project’s delivery based on 300 potential risks identified by stakeholder specialists.
  • Conducted a second risk assessment within the project design team prior to beginning detailed design. Resulting mitigation measures were incorporated.

β€œOn behalf of myself and the Baffinland Iron Mines management team, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the contribution that the Hatch team have made, and continue to make, to the success of the Mary River Project. It has certainly been a dynamic and challenging year for the project team and each and every one of the team has demonstrated a thorough understanding of our objectives and has delivered against the odds.”

Ron Hampton | Vice President and Project Director, Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation

Project numbers

290 km of tracks
30 bridges
200 culverts
57 switches

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