GFM Network News


Despite a good early effort, a CN strike and landslides on both main lines had already set the stage for problems.

Derailed: Protests cause grain shipping turmoil

The many moving parts of Canada’s rail network mean it will be weeks or months before normalcy returns

The head of Canada’s grain transportation monitor didn’t mince words during a recent conversation following a spate of protests that have disrupted rail service on the national level. “I’m really glad I don’t work for a railway this week,” Mark Hemmes of Quorum Corp. said by telephone Feb. 19 from his Edmonton office. “This has



CP Rail says closer collaboration with shippers helps it manage the challenging winter season while moving more grain than ever before.

CP Rail sets back-to-back grain-shipping records

That’s good news because there’s an above-normal amount of grain to move 
despite harvest delays

CP Rail moved a record amount of grain in November, beating its previous record set in October. Meanwhile, CN Rail is gearing up its grain shipping after an eight-day strike resulted in delivering just 2,015 of the 5,409 cars elevator companies ordered for week 16 (Nov. 17 to 23) of the current crop year. The

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

Manitoba shipped 3.9 million tonnes of grain through the Port of Thunder Bay this crop year.

Manitoba Thunder Bay grain shipments set modern record

For the first time in 20 years, Manitoba shipped more grain through the Port of Thunder Bay than Saskatchewan. “Historically, Manitoba grain has accounted for about a third of the grain shipments through Thunder Bay,” Chris Heikkinen, the port’s communications and research co-ordinator, said in an email Nov. 5. “This has changed over the past


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

CN executive says shipping more Alberta oil won’t hurt grain shipping.

Bitter cold delays CN grain car deliveries

Alberta oil won’t move at the detriment of grain, says VP Sean Finn

Cold weather hurt Canadian National Railway’s (CN) grain-shipping performance week 29 (Feb. 10 to 16), but it’s confident it can quickly catch up. “Last week was a pretty tough week,” Sean Finn, CN’s executive vice-president of corporate services and chief legal officer, said in an interview Feb. 23. Temperatures across much of Western Canada fell


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

As Western Canadian grain production increases, the volume of grain being exported by container is increasing as well.

Big jump in western Canadian grain production ‘new normal’

Canadian crop/product exported to the U.S. rail vs. truck

Lots has changed since the federal government appointed Quorum Corporation in 2001 to monitor Western Canada’s grain handling and transportation system, especially the amount of grain to be monitored. In 2001 Western Canada’s total grain supply — production plus carry-in from the previous year — was about 50 million tonnes. This year it’s about 80