The Cote-Nord Mining Railway – Geotechnical and Construction Challenges of a Tough Project

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2017 CGS-SOS Christmas Dinner Lecture

The Cote-Nord Mining Railway – Geotechnical and Construction Challenges of a Tough Project

Monday, December 11, 2017

Evening Program

5:30 Cocktails and socializing
6:30 Dinner
7:30 Lecture


In 2012, the Canadian National Railway (CNR) undertook the planning and design of a new 800-km long railway line from Sept-Isle to Lake Otelnuk, in Quebec. A fast-track construction proposed for this multi-billion dollar mining railway line through very severe mountain terrain and muskeg in remote locations without any access presented fantastic challenges.

The presentation will have two parts. In the first part, different options considered during the preliminary route selection analysis, and considerations for the geotechnical investigation and design approaches for the excavation of the deep rock cuts, construction of large fills and bridges as well as railway curves and grades will be presented. In the second part, the principle of geo-hazards risk management for railway projects and its link to future operating and maintenance cost will be discussed.


Mr. Mario Ruel, P.Eng., M.Eng. Mr. Ruel is a Senior Manager with CN and the President Elect of Canadian Geotechnical Society. He has received a bachelor degree in geological engineering from Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal in 1981. After his graduation, he joined CN as a geotechnical engineer. He has also received a Master’s degree from the University of Alberta in 1988. In 1989, he moved back to Montreal and since then has been practicing geotechnical engineering and risk management of natural hazards for CN Eastern Canada.

He has been the Chairman of GeoMontreal CGS Conference. He is a member of Canadian Railway Research Advisory Board (RRAB), US TRB (Transportation Research Board – Railway track structure system design and maintenance -AR050) and AAR’s TTCI -TAG (Technical Advisory Group for research and development in track foundation). He has produced and teaches the course “Geotechnology for Railroaders”.

He is a recumbent cyclist and has a Black Belt – Kyokushin in Karate.


Early Bird $65
Regular Registration $80
Student $30
*Student Sponsorship $65

*STUDENTS: Please note that a limited number of spaces are available on a first come, first served basis through corporate sponsorship.

SPONSORS: Student Sponsors, who subsidize CGS-SOS events, will be recognized at the Dinner Lecture. Please purchase student sponsorships on Eventbrite to contribute to this worthwhile initiative and your company will be recognized at the event. We thank you for your support!


December 11
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm


Pearson Convention Center
2638 Steeles Avenue East
Brampton, Ontario L6T 4L7 Canada
+ Google Map
905 494 0444


Veronica Ayetan

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Please confirm your attendance by Friday, December 1, 2017, 11:30 PM to qualify for the Early Bid price or by Thursday, December 7, 11:30 PM, using Eventbrite.

This event will be booked solely through Eventbrite.

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