The Train That Runs Nowhere

Life is full of loopholes big and small, and sometimes you just have to run a train right through one. That seems to be the case with the Bayside Canadian Railway at the southwestern tip of New Brunswick, Canada. It runs about 200 feet along a clearing just across the St. Croix River from Maine. Its tiny train slowly bumps back and forth, going nowhere. Run by a subsidiary of the American Seafood Group (ASG), a huge Seattle-based seafood processor that operates in Alaska, the Bayside Canadian Railway found itself in the crosshairs of the Department of Justice last year when they were charged with violating the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. Also known as the Jones Act, the law requires shipping between American ports be done with American-built, American-flagged vessels, which ASG didn’t operate. So, when transporting its catch from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, to the east coast, ASG uses the 200-foot-long Bayside Canadian Railway as a loophole. When ASG’s cargo is unloaded from the ship, it’s packed onto a truck, which is then driven onto a flatcar on the track. A small locomotive moves the car up and down the track. Having completed its mandatory rail journey in Canada, the truck then drives off the train and down the road a couple of miles to the U.S. border where it can now legally cross. It looks as ridiculous as it sounds.