The advisories were issued to Transport Canada on April 11 and stem from TSB's investigation of a deadly train derailment earlier this year near Field, B.C., that killed three Canadian Pacific train crew members. | Twitter/@Globalnews photo

TSB advises extra precautions for mountain grain trains

Canada’s Transportation Safety Board has issued a pair of rail safety advisories aimed at improving rail safety and preventing uncontrolled train movements on mountain grades. The advisories were issued to Transport Canada on April 11 and stem from TSB’s investigation of a deadly train derailment earlier this year near Field, B.C., that killed three Canadian […] Read more

The Canadian Transportation Agency has ruled that Canadian National Railway breached its level of service obligations to shippers in the Canadian pulp industry when it announced plans to impose rail freight embargoes on the pulp and paper industry last September. | File photo

CN to appeal federal ruling on freight embargoes

The Canadian Transportation Agency has ruled that Canadian National Railway breached its level of service obligations to shippers in the Canadian pulp industry when it announced plans to impose rail freight embargoes on the pulp and paper industry last September. The CTA’s findings were the result of an investigation launched by the agency in January […] Read more

A federal investigation into rail freight service issues in Vancouver last year has identified increased traffic as a potential contributing factor behind service delays and congestion. | File photo

Traffic volumes cited in CTA investigation report

UPDATE – 1100 April 16, 2019 CST – The CTA released its final report on this issue April 15, 2019. You can find that updated story here. A federal investigation into rail freight service issues in Vancouver last year has identified increased traffic as a potential contributing factor behind service delays and congestion. In a […] Read more


Canadian National Railway announced March 18 it will spend $245 million on Saskatchewan rail infrastructure this year. | File photo

CN to expand infrastructure in Sask.

Canadian National Railway announced March 18 it will spend $245 million on Saskatchewan rail infrastructure this year. Plans include construction of double track at four locations: 16 kilometres near Atwater, east of Melville; 16 km near Fenwood, west of Melville; 12 km near Biggar and 11 km near Clavet. The company also intends to replace […] Read more

A winter storm shut down the Trans-Canada Highway near Calgary Feb. 20. Farms in the region saw some much-needed moisture, but the wind resulted in filled farmyards, including the Woolliams’ farm near Airdrie, Alta.  |  Michael Raine photo

Cold weather, poor conditions hamper grain movement

Consistently frigid winter temperatures across the Canadian Prairies combined with heavy snowfall in the Rocky Mountains have significantly slowed grain movements and rail car deliveries over the past few weeks. Conditions for railroading couldn’t be much worse, said Mark Hemmes, president of Edmonton-based Quorum Corp., during a Feb. 22 interview. In addition to two “fairly […] Read more


Fears over delays stem from the province’s plan to move 120,000 barrels of oil a day by 2020, purchasing as many as 7,000 tanker cars and 80 locomotives.
 | File photo

Oil tanker contracts renew grain delay debate

Despite concerns over Alberta’s $3.7 billion rail deal, the province and others believe it won’t affect grain movement

Debate is again surging over whether more oil by rail will affect grain movement, given the Alberta government plans to spend $3.7 billion to increase capacity by this summer. Some farm leaders worry the plan could cause logjams, while others, including the provincial government, believe there won’t be impacts. “Even with the additional crude on […] Read more

Canadian National Railway plans to twin a four-kilometre section of track at Canada’s largest marine port.  |  Brian Cross photo

CN announces port infrastructure project

Canada’s largest railway company will twin a four-kilometre section of track at the Port of Vancouver, a move that will address rail congestion issues, reduce container dwell times and improve the flow of freight traffic at Canada’s largest marine port. Canadian National Railway announced Feb. 14 that it has reached an agreement with the government […] Read more

Prairie grain trains are expected to increase in length and weight as railway companies seek to increase operational efficiencies and move more cargo with fewer trains.  |  File photo

Brake failure possible in deadly derailment

Cold temperatures, snow-covered tracks and avalanches can cause winter shipping problems for the rail system

Canada’s Transportation Safety Board released some details last week stemming from the deadly derailment of a westbound Canadian Pacific freight train in a mountainous area near Field, B.C. On Feb. 4, Canadian Pacific Railway train 301 — a 112-car, three-locomotive grain train destined for Vancouver — derailed at Mile 130.6 of the Laggan subdivision, killing […] Read more


Fears over delays stem from the province’s plan to move 120,000 barrels of oil a day by 2020, purchasing as many as 7,000 tanker cars and 80 locomotives.
 | File photo

Alta. politicians debate oil car plan

Grain movement might be the big issue on producers’ minds as Alberta heads into an election this spring. Worries about potential backlogs were heavily discussed during an MLA and candidate panel at FarmTech Jan. 29 with representatives from the political left and right offering their thoughts on the issue. “Transportation is a large concern of […] Read more

Canadian Pacific Railway saw fourth-quarter freight revenues from shipping grain increase by five percent.  |  File photo

CP reports another record-setting year

Revenue increased 12 percent last year to $7.138 billion, while fourth quarter adjusted earnings per share rose 41 percent

Calgary-based Canadian Pacific Railway reported another record year in 2018, supported by best-ever fourth quarter revenues and strong demand from shippers in every major business sector, including agriculture. CP’s revenues for the three-month period ending Dec. 31 were $2 billion, up five percent from the fourth quarter of 2017, the company announced in a Jan. […] Read more