A recent sale of refurbished hopper cars generated $2.46 million for the federal government.  |  File photo

Hopper cars sold at fraction of value

Ottawa is selling off bits and pieces of its shrinking federal hopper car fleet at fire-sale prices. According to the Federal Hopper Car Report prepared by Transport Canada, Ottawa sold 440 refurbished grain hopper cars in 2017 at a value of slightly less than $6,000 per car. The sale of the so-called “terminated” hopper cars […] Read more

The lineup of grain vessels waiting for loading at Vancouver increased to 21 for Week 8 of the grain shipping season. | File photo

Grain vessel lineup a possible sign of shipping to come?

The lineup of grain vessels waiting for loading at Vancouver increased to 21 for Week 8 of the grain shipping season. Reports by Quorum Corp., which monitors prairie grain handling, stated vessels at Vancouver were up 31 per cent from the previous week (17). The increase in ships raised sentiments that grain orders and exports […] Read more

Northgate Terminal managers Jeremy Johnston, left, and Jeremy Nielsen say expansion is in the company’s plans at the facility near Estevan.  |  Brian Cross photo

Northgate gains on links with U.S. buyers

This is the second of five business features highlighting Saskatchewan companies that are finalists in the Saskatchewan Trade & Export Partnership’s (STEP) 2018 Exporter of the Year Award. SASKATOON — Ceres Global Ag may not be the most well-known grain-handling company in Saskatchewan. But its reputation is growing, thanks to a dedicated staff, an aggressive […] Read more


Farmers urged to keep watch on rail shipping

Farm leaders last week told federal ministers they are closely watching grain movement this fall to make sure the railways don’t fall behind. Todd Lewis, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, and Daryl Fransoo, a Western Canadian Wheat Growers director, both said communication is key as the first shipping season under new transportation […] Read more

A partnership of Canadian companies bought the rail line and port facilities at the Port of Churchill, Man.  |  File photo

Ottawa to invest $117 million in Churchill and rail link repairs

The federal government plans to spend $117 million over the next 10 years to restore rail service between The Pas, Man., and the Port of Churchill in northern Manitoba. In a Sept. 14 news release, the government of Canada said it is committed to restoring rail service on the Hudson Bay Railway. The railway — […] Read more


Recent data indicates that the major railways are fulfilling the majority of their orders in a timely fashion.  |  File photo

Grain supply network performing smoothly

An early harvest slowed farmer deliveries to the elevator, but movement picked up during week four of the new crop year

Canada’s grain handling and transportation systems look to be operating smoothly despite smaller-than-average export shipments during the first month of the 2018-19 crop year. “So far, so good,” said Mark Hemmes, president of Quorum Corp., the Edmonton company contracted to monitor commercial grain movements in Western Canada. “We were a little bit concerned (in late […] Read more

Last week, Paterson Grain officially opened the doors to its newest facility near Bowden, Alta. | Twitter/@Paterson_Global photo

New grain terminals built across West

Grain handling companies continue to invest in new facilities across the West despite warning from some industry observers that Western Canada’s bulk grain handling system is quickly becoming overbuilt. In the past month, at least three new grain terminals have opened across the Prairies and others are scheduled to open early next year. Last week, […] Read more

Canadian National Railway plans to add 60 additional locomotives to its fleet, the company announced this week. | File photo

CN orders 60 more locomotives, cites growth in rail volumes

Canadian National Railway plans to add 60 additional locomotives to its fleet, the company announced this week. The Montreal-based railway has placed an order with GE Transportation for 60 more locomotives, expanding a previous order for 200 new locomotives that was placed by CN in December 2017. “With strong demand across our business, we continue […] Read more


Ottawa is suing HBRC for $18 million, claiming that the company failed to live up to terms in a 2008 contract that required the company to maintain rail service on a section of track in northern Manitoba until 2029. The track has been out of service since early 2017 after flooding caused extensive damage. | OmniTrax photo

Regulator orders HBR to repair damaged track

The federal government is moving ahead with legal action against the Hudson Bay Railway Company (HBRC), a subsidiary of North American railroading company OmniTrax Inc. Ottawa is suing HBRC for $18 million, claiming that the company failed to live up to terms in a 2008 contract that required the company to maintain rail service on […] Read more

Little-used sections of rail line like this one can be found across the Prairies. APAS president Ian Boxall says if Ottawa is serious about re-establishing the Port of Churchill as a viable export route for prairie grain, it should focus its regulatory efforts on re-opening the Tisdale subdivision in northeastern Saskatchewan. | WP photo illustration

Farmers call for reopening of Tisdale rail subdivision

UPDATED: June 19, 2018 – 0955 CST – adds CN emailed comment – If Ottawa is serious about re-establishing the Port of Churchill as a viable export route for prairie grain, it should focus its regulatory efforts on re-opening the Tisdale subdivision in northeastern Saskatchewan. That’s according to Ian Boxall, a Tisdale-area farmer who also […] Read more