GFM Network News


CN invests $105 million in Manitoba capital projects

CN Rail will invest $105 million in capital spending in Manitoba in 2020, Sean Finn, CN’s executive vice-president of corporate services and chief legal officer, said in an interview July 15. About half the money will be used for maintenance, including rail and tie replacement, bridges, level crossings, culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure.

Protests which began in February and stretched into March caused rail shipping disruption threatening critical shortages for a variety of goods.

CN executive thanks customers for patience, warns protesters

Sean Finn, CN rail’s executive vice-president of corporate services and chief legal officer, is thanking customers, including farmers, for their patience in the wake of a rail shipping backlog. His message to the protesters, whose blockades added to the backlog, is their actions put themselves and CN staff in danger. Several times CN trains came


Despite the real upset the CN Rail strike caused for several sectors, the almost immediate calls to end the strike with back-to-work legislation were premature.

Comment: No politician wins in CN strike

Partisan antics at the expense of farmers won’t play well with Canadians

Elected officials took different approaches to handling the Canadian National Railway strike — but none of them come out of it looking good. When roughly 3,200 yard workers and train conductors represented by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference walked off the job Nov. 19, they did so in protest of safety concerns. They highlighted issues

Railway performance didn’t change much in 2018-19 compared to the previous crop year, says Mark Hemmes, Canada’s grain monitor. Nevertheless the railways shipped a record volume of grain.

Another year, another round of broken grain transport records

Western grain movement, export records set in 2018-19 crop year

The 2018-19 crop year, ended July 31, was record setting for Western Canada’s grain-handling and transportation system. While industry officials are pleased, they agree the system needs to move even more because farmers keep producing more. “At the rate we are going today… by the time we get to 2030 we’re going to be looking

CN and CP’s financial and operating results for the second quarter both made records.

CN and CP quietly posted strong results

Grain and intermodal were among strong sectors as the railways enhanced their networks

Canada’s two major railways have quietly gone about their business in the past year, turning in strong financial performances and building up their networks, even as economic storm clouds gather. They overcame wicked winter weather to record a record grain haul for the crop year ending July 31. As of September, they were still enjoying


Crop year ends with grain export record

Both major railways have announced record grain shipments, and with a more than a week left in the crop year, total Canadian grain exports had already topped last year’s record. The Canadian Grain Commission reports that as of July 21, with 10 days left in the 2018-19 crop year, total exports of Canadian grain had

Grain shippers worry trains like these will displace hopper cars, especially in light of an Alberta government program to buy oil cars.

Grain shippers wary of railways’ crude oil plans

Officials from both CN and CP Rail say increasing oil traffic will not hurt their grain service

Western grain shippers are watching closely to ensure their rail service doesn’t decline as oil shipments increase. “We would be concerned if either railway were to reduce grain capacity in favour of crude oil,” Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association said in an interview Dec. 5. “Regardless of what the needs

Grain shippers say it’s taking some time to bring all the provisions of the new transportation law into effect, but they’re not concerned.

Transport regulation changes unused

It’s partly because grain is moving well, but it’s also taking time to develop level-of-service agreements

Most of the provisions designed to improve rail service for grain in the Transportation Modernization Act (Bill C-49), which became law five months ago this week, have yet to take effect. But that’s neither a surprise nor a disappointment to Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA), which pushed hard for


Sean Finn, CN Rail’s executive vice-president of corporate services and chief legal officer, says attracting and retaining train conductors is a challenge despite good wages and a pension.

Looking for a good paying job? Try CN Rail

It’s not 9 to 5 so attracting and keeping conductors is a challenge

CN Rail has hired 1,200 people to be train conductors and after spending about $85,000 training them, the company hopes most decide to stick with it. But it’s not easy attracting and keeping conductors, despite a starting wage of $85,000 a year and a defined benefit pension, says Sean Finn, CN Rail’s executive vice-president of

Th passage of Bill C-49 will see CN invest in new grain cars and other infrastructure to move grain faster across the Prairies.

CN investing to improve grain transportation

The railway didn’t get everything it wanted in Bill C-49, but it was enough to trigger millions 
of dollars in capital spending, including 1,000 new high-capacity grain cars

A top CN executive says Bill C-49 is already sparking a wave of grain transportation investments. Both CN and CP Rail have ordered 1,000 new high-capacity grain cars and are investing in other infrastructure to move more grain faster partly due to the legislative changes, says Sean Finn, CN’s executive vice-president of corporate services and