GFM Network News


CN car fulfilment dropped in weeks 11 and 12

However, the company says it is bringing more crews and power online to pick up the pace

CN Rail is still struggling to fulfil grain car orders in Western Canada, according to statistics collected by the Ag Transport Coalition (ATC). A CN spokesperson says the company is committed to meeting grain company needs. To that end CN has ramped up hiring and this quarter will add another 250 new crew members, Kate

An Alberta farmer says plenty of grain is moving through Western Canada — but too much of it is U.S. grain.

Is U.S. grain eating up Canadian rail capacity?

Not according to CP Rail, which on average moves two trains of American grain through Western Canada daily

An Alberta farmer alleges Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) isn’t moving Canadian grain in a timely way because it’s preoccupied shipping American grain through Western Canada — an allegation CP denies. The Carstairs-area farmer asked not to be identified fearing it might reveal his source. The farmer said according to his source every day CP brings


How are the railways doing? Depends on whom you ask

Grain companies deny the railway allegation 
of ordering ‘phantom’ cars

The railways are moving more grain than during the same period a year ago, but whether shippers’ needs are being met depends on whom you talk to. “Contrary to claims recently made by the new Ag Transport Coalition (ATC) that CN is somehow failing to meet demand, we know we’re responding very efficiently to all

Short line Boundary Trails Railway Company saw producer car shipments drop dramatically in the 2012-13 crop year — the year the Canadian Wheat Board lost its monopoly. But since then new buyers have stepped up and the railway moved a record 619 grain cars in 2013-14. In this November 2013 photo BTRC is picking up cars at a producer car-loading facility at Darlingford.

The little railway that could

Boundary Trails Railway Co. had a record year in a year of epic railway snags

Southern Manitoba’s Boundary Trails Railway Company (BTRC) had geography on its side last year, more than tripling the number of cars it handled. The 38-km short line, which runs from Morden to Binney Corner just west of Manitou, handled 619 grain cars in the 2013-14 shipping year. The company is owned by 90 shareholders, mostly

Feds extend railway grain-shipping targets

Most of the industry supports the move, but millers fear it will lead to domestic changes

Ottawa’s last-minute decision to continue setting grain-shipping targets for the railways until March 28, 2015 has the support of western elevator companies and most farm groups, but not Canadian millers. “It’s good news that they are keeping the spotlight on grain transportation for this winter period,” Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the Western Grain Elevator


The federal government hasn’t clarified whether railway fines first announced as $100,000 per day will switch to weekly. The Canada Transportation Act states fines can be levied “per violation.”

Will railways be fined $100,000 a week instead of daily?

Ottawa isn’t saying, but the Canada Transportation Act states fines apply ‘per violation’

CN Rail is facing federal fines for failing to meet legislated weekly targets for moving grain — this much is known. But the big question in the grain industry last week was whether those $100,000 fines will be levied per day — as federal officials indicated in press statements last winter — or whether the penalty

CTA ruling favours grain company in rail service dispute

Although CN Rail is appealing a Canadian Transportation Agency interim decision in favour of Louis Dreyfus Commodities’ complaint about last winter’s rail service, other complainants say it bodes well for their cases too. May 2 the CTA ordered CN Rail to meet its service requirements to four Louis Dreyfus Commodities (LDC) elevators, a decision which

Canola growers take on the railways

A second level-of-service complaint has been filed

A second legal complaint has been filed alleging the railways provided inadequate grain-shipping service this crop year. And more might be coming. The Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA) filed a level-of-service complaint with the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) May 26, accusing both Canadian Pacific and Canadian National railways of failing to fulfil their common carrier


Canada’s grain system increasing its capacity

Millions of dollars are being invested in country elevators and port terminals to handle the West’s growing crop production

Western Canada’s grain companies are adding capacity to the handling system, demonstrating they don’t see last year’s record crop as an anomaly, says Curt Vossen, Richardson International’s president and CEO. Last week the CWB announced its plan to buy Prairie West Terminal, which has four country elevators with 77,000 tonnes of storage, he said on

A grain train being loaded near Nesbitt, Man. April 8. Grain is now moving off the Prairies but companies say some markets aren’t being served.

Dreyfus files rail level-of-service complaint, others may follow

Grain is moving but the railways are the ones deciding where it goes

Louis Dreyfus Commodities has filed a level-of-service complaint against CN Rail with the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA). It may be one of many as other grain companies contemplate similar action in hopes of recouping losses due to poor rail service for grain this winter. Meanwhile, CN and CP Rail “have met the prescribed (grain-moving) target