Ri­val CP Rail im­proved its wheat ship­ment num­bers, de­spite ex­treme cold

Prairie Post (West Edition) - - Southern Alberta - BY CANA­DIAN PRESS

De­spite high crop yields in Western Canada, Cana­dian Na­tional Rail­way Co. shipped 24 mil­lion met­ric tonnes of grain in the 2017-18 crop year, four per cent less than the pre­vi­ous year, due in part to a frigid Prairie win­ter.

Ri­val Cana­dian Pa­cific Rail­way Ltd., mean­while, nudged up its num­bers one per cent year over year, ship­ping nearly 26 mil­lion met­ric tonnes of grain, grain prod­ucts and soy­beans out of the Prairies for the crop year that came to a close at the end of July. For the com­ing year, Cal­gary-based CP Rail fore­casts the to­tal crop to move at more than 83 mil­lion met­ric tonnes, five per cent above the fiveyear av­er­age.

CP Rail and the Mon­treal-based CN are out­fit­ting their fleets with thou­sands of larger freight cars and track up­grades over the next four years.

The im­prove­ments come amid leg­is­la­tion that im­poses fi­nan­cial penal­ties on rail­ways that fail to de­liver promised rail cars for grain ship­ments on time.

The ex­tremely low tem­per­a­tures in Western Canada last win­ter meant trains could take on fewer cars and carry less grain, a ne­ces­sity re­lated to lo­co­mo­tive air-brake sys­tems.

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