GFM Network News


After 20 years, grain transportation still dominates debate at Fields on Wheels

The more things change the more they stay the same, but the grain system has made huge gains, says Mark Hemmes

Canada’s grain sector has seen momentous changes since the first Fields on Wheels conference 20 years ago. But debating grain transportation policy still tops the agenda. As the annual event’s 20th anniversary was celebrated Dec. 2, speakers offered wildly contrasting views of how the grain transportation is performing and what it needs for the future.

Bioblending a path to growth

A Manitoba short line railway has been nationally 
recognized for its innovative solution to blending biodiesel

Central Manitoba Railway (CEMR) didn’t plan to get into biofuel blending — until it saw a good business opportunity headed the wrong way down the tracks. “The railway is a mature business and we’re a short line with 120 miles of track, so where do we grow our business?” said CEMR’s assistant general manager, Sean


Liberals Back Shippers On Rail Service

The federal Liberals have thrown their support behind rail shippers lobbying the federal government for regulations to “rebalance” their bargaining power with the railways. But it isn’t the Liberals shippers have to convince, it’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper. While shippers can point to the interim report on rail service that concludes substandard rail performance is

Broad Shipper Coalition Pushing Hard For Rail Regulation

0ttawa Watching railway customer Rob Davies and railway spokesman Cliff Mackay debate railway regulation was like watching Abbott and Costello, except this was improv. “I just don’t think regulations create win-win solutions,” Mackay, president of the Railway Association of Canada, said during a panel discussion here Nov. 16 during a grain industry symposium organized by

Railways Don’t Want More Regulation

The rebounding North American economy is boosting the rail sector as can be seen in the first-quarter profits most railways posted this year but the carriers still have a long way to roll before they reach their potential, industry representatives say. “The indicators for 2010 are optimistic,” says John Gray, vice-president of policy and economics


Railway Service Under MP’s Scrutiny

Put a railway representative in front of the Commons agriculture committee and complaints about service and cost aren’t long in coming. Cliff Mackay, President and CEO of the Railway Association of Canada, wanted to explain the need for replacing the aging fleet of government grain hopper cars and the importance of letting market requirements shape