WINNIPEG — The federal government is threatening to sue the owner of a broken rail line that has left people in the northern Manitoba town of Churchill without a land connection to the outside world.

The government says Denver-based Omnitrax has 30 days to fix the Hudson Bay Railway to Churchill or face a lawsuit.

The government says Omnitrax, which bought the rail line from Ottawa in 1997, has a legal obligation to fix and maintain the line.

The rail link was severely damaged by flooding last spring and Omnitrax has said it cannot afford an estimated $43 million in repairs.

For months, goods and people have had to be flown to the subarctic community at a much higher cost.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in July that the government was willing to use all options to force Omnitrax to get the line running again.

Omnitrax officials were not immediately available to respond.