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September 21, 2018 | The Western Producer

Hopeful Signs for Canadian Grain Transportation

Railways are investing in equipment and hiring more employees

Are we going to run into grain shipping problems again this fall and winter or will the two main railways provide good service? The Western Producer reports while nothing is ever certain, there are positive signs.

Elevators will tell you that crunch time happens in the first five or six months after harvest. It was during that critical time last year when the system sputtered, reminding everyone of the debacle back in the 2013-14 shipping season.

Many things have changed since 2013-14. The Transportation Modernization Act (formerly Bill C-49) is now in place and while elements like reciprocal penalties will take time to work out, changes to the maximum revenue entitlement are already paying dividends. The railways now get credit for their specific investments and as a result both are buying new hopper cars.

The new cars are high volume while also being slightly shorter meaning they’ll be able to pack a lot more grain in each train. There’s also a push to move to trains that are 8,500 feet long, a 20% increase.

As well, the railways are investing in locomotives and they’ve hired many more employees. 

Read the full report here.

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