CN invests in grain hopper fleet.   |  File photo

CN Rail hops to it

Canadian National Railway’s purchase of 1,000 new grain hopper cars represents the first tangible results of Bill C-49 and a major step forward in fleet renewal, say industry observers. The company announced May 24, the day the transportation modernization act received royal assent after a year of political back-and-forth and hard industry lobbying, that it […] Read more

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture sent a letter to MPs May 10 urging the bill be passed as soon as possible. | Screencap via Twitter/@CFAFCA

Transportation bill waiting on new vote

Political wrangling over Bill C-49 continues in Ottawa as the bill still has not gained full approval from the House of Commons and the Senate. After Transport Minister Marc Garneau accepted some earlier Senate amendments and rejected others, the Senate once again debated the bill last week. It returned the legislation to the Commons May […] Read more

A new ownership group that’s attempting to buy the Hudson Bay Railway and the Port of Churchill in northern Manitoba says western Canadian grain will be an important part of the port’s commercial business.
 | Port of Churchill photo

Group bids for Hudson Bay Railway and Churchill port

A new ownership group that’s attempting to buy the Hudson Bay Railway and the Port of Churchill in northern Manitoba says western Canadian grain will be an important part of the port’s commercial business. If the proposed sale of the port and railway goes ahead, grain shipments will resume as quickly as possible following necessary […] Read more


Bill C-49 covers all aspects of transportation, not just rail. These cars were photographed recently in Calgary.  |  Randy Vanderveen photo

Transport bill sparks calls for quick approval

MPs approve or adjust grain amendments but others are rejected; House now sends proposed legislation back to Senate

Farmers are once again urging quick passage of Bill C-49 in the Senate after the long-awaited transportation legislation moved back to the upper chamber. The House of Commons May 3 approved Transport Minister Marc Garneau’s position on earlier Senate amendments to the bill. He approved some, including those related to grain shipping, with some adjustments, […] Read more

The Ag Transport Coalition said a structured shutdown of Canadian Pacific Railway’s operations in anticipation of an April 21 strike likely had some impact on the company’s Week 38 performance.  |  File photo

CN’s car orders improve; CP still struggles

Ag Transport Coalition data shows that CN supplied about 91 percent of grain hopper cars on time during Week 38

The number of hoppers cars being spotted at western Canadian grain elevators continues to improve at Canadian National Railway, while weekly hopper car deliveries at Canadian Pacific Railway continue to falter, according to figures supplied by the Ag Transport Coalition. ATC numbers show that CN’s numbers have been improving consistently since the arrival of warmer […] Read more


Canadian National Railway is considering the purchase of 1,000 new grain hopper cars, but it is “contingent on the passage of Bill C-49 without amendments,” J.J. Ruest, the company’s interim president and chief executive officer, said during an April 24 conference call with investors. | File photo

CN requires unamended Bill C-49 to buy hopper cars

Canadian National Railway is considering the purchase of 1,000 new grain hopper cars, but it is “contingent on the passage of Bill C-49 without amendments,” J.J. Ruest, the company’s interim president and chief executive officer, said during an April 24 conference call with investors. CN’s existing grain hopper car fleet consists of about 12,000 cars, […] Read more

The CTA examines railway input costs, such as labour, fuel and materials.  |  File photo

Grain freight costs to rise 2.8 percent this year

A Canadian Transportation Agency ruling will allow the railways to increase their per-tonne revenue in 2018-19

Canada’s major railway companies will be able to generate greater per-tonne revenues for moving regulated western Canadian grain in 2018-19 following an April 25 ruling by the Canadian Transportation Agency. The CTA announced that the Volume Related Composite Price Index (VRCPI) will increase 2.8 percent in the 2018-19 crop year. The VRCPI is a key […] Read more

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) are urging their members, which include roughly 3,000 engineers and conductors as well as 3,600 signal maintenance workers, to reject the final offer. | File photo

Unionized workers set to vote on CP offer

Engineers, train conductors and electrical workers at Canadian Pacific Railway will decide whether to accept or reject CP’s final contract offer in an electronic vote to be held May 14-23. The Canadian Industrial Relations Board confirmed the dates this week. The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) are […] Read more


CN's on-time car-order fulfillment record has improved steadily over the past month, rising from 69 percent in Week 35, to 83 percent in Week 36, 84 percent in Week 37, and 91 percent in Week 38. | CN photo

One railway improving on car orders; CP continues struggles

The number of hoppers cars being spotted at western Canadian grain elevators continues to improve at Canadian National Railway, while weekly hopper car deliveries at Canadian Pacific Railway continue to falter, according to figures supplied by the Ag Transport Coalition (ATC). ATC numbers show that CN’s numbers have been improving consistently since the arrival of […] Read more

Union leaders at Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), say it's only a matter of time until their members walk off the job at CP. | CP photo

Ordered ratification vote averts CP Rail strike

Unions say they are advising their members to reject company offers and that a strike will occur once that happens

A strike has been averted, at least temporarily, at Canadian Pacific Railway. However, union leaders at Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), say it’s only a matter of time before their members walk off the job at CP. On April 20, Canadian Labour Minister Patty Hajdu determined that […] Read more