GFM Network News


CP, Kansas City lock in new deal as CN steps out

More efficient flow of grain, perishables, machinery parts touted

Canadian Pacific Railway and U.S. railway Kansas City Southern on Wednesday again formalized their engagement after competing suitor Canadian National Railway walked away from the table. CP and KCS, which reported “unanimous” support from both companies’ boards, have entered a merger agreement committing CP to pay about $31 billion in cash and stock, or about

“The railways always move it. The issue is, when do they move it?” – Wade Sobkowich, WGEA

Grain shipping capacity eyed nervously

Can shippers capture premium prices this winter, or will railways cut too deep?

It’s official. Western Canada’s grain-handling and transportation system moved a record amount of grain during the 2020-21 crop year that ended July 31. When the dust had settled, Western Canada’s grain-handling and transportation system had moved a record 61.5 million tonnes. That’s up 5.1 per cent from last crop year’s record of 58.6 million, Mark

The charred remnants of the rail bridge, destroyed by a wildfire on June 30, is seen during a media tour by authorities in Lytton, British Columbia, July 9, 2021.

Lytton bridge reopened but grain movement ‘hit and miss’

Wildfires in British Columbia continue to disrupt Prairie grain movement

CN Rail’s, fire-damaged bridge at Lytton, B.C. reopened for traffic July 13, but all train movement, including for grain, through British Columbia’s wildfire-ravaged southern Interior, is “hit and miss” and will remain so until the fire risk lessens. “Both railways (including CP Rail) are having troubles because there are so many fires in the area,”

Grain ships continue to arrive at Canadian ports, suggesting the possibility of another record despite tight grain supplies.

Is a grain shipping three-peat on the horizon?

Grain movement has been running at a record pace during the 2020-21 crop year, but will it continue to the July 31 finish line?

The record-setting pace of western grain moving to port thus far could see a three-peat when the 2020-21 crop year ends July 31. Canada’s grain monitor Mark Hemmes, president of Quorum Corporation, speculated in an interview in October 2020 — less than three months into the current crop year — it was possible grain moved by rail from

Photo: File

Comment: Let’s get ready to ‘build back better’

Canada needs a permanent solution to perennial transportation issues as part of its economic recovery

Build back better. It’s a catchy slogan – and a good idea. Throughout the pandemic, the Canadian agriculture and food industry has shown it is more than up to the task. But without the right practices, policies and infrastructure in place, it is becoming increasingly clear Canada will not be able to fully realize its

Photo: File

What gives? Grain shipping records… and service complaints

“There have been some challenges — a couple of bottlenecks in some places and some issues at the port once in a while, but overall I think we’ve had a good run of it.” – Sean Finn, CN

Canada’s railways continue to move record grain volumes but that doesn’t mean rail service woes have disappeared, the Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA) warns. February marked the 12th month in a row that CN Rail moved a record amount of grain. It shipped 2.28 million tonnes, up seven per cent from the previous record of

A number of key rail safety concerns have not been dealt with, according to Canada’s auditor general.

Transport Canada’s rail safety oversight under fire

The federal watchdog says key safety concerns remain unaddressed

Canada’s auditor general is criticizing Transport Canada for lack of safety oversight on railroads. A recent report from the office says the federal institution tasked with regulating transport has made important improvements to safety and inspections, but “it did not assess whether its oversight activities improved rail safety.” More than $328 billion worth of goods

CP to employ Ballard fuel cells in Hydrogen Locomotive Program

Railway touts zero emissions goal

Canadian Pacific (CP) is adopting a new Canadian technology in a bid to reduce its locomotion emissions. It’s teaming up with Vancouver-based Ballard Power Systems to employ Ballard fuel cell modules in CP’s Hydrogen Locomotive Program. The modules will provide a total of 1.2 megawatts of electricity to power the locomotive. “With this purchase from Ballard, a leader in

The great grain transportation turnaround

The great grain transportation turnaround

From bad to best, Western Canada’s grain-handling and transportation system has made huge improvements in the last 25 years

Twenty-five years ago critics claimed Western Canada had one of the worst grain-handling and transportation systems in the developed world. Yet today it’s among the best, says Canada’s grain monitor Mark Hemmes. Far from perfect, and still vulnerable to costly disruptions, including right now, the system from farm gate to terminal spout has been revamped

Despite earlier shipping records, grain shipping backlog builds

Canada’s railways continued to break grain movement records earlier this crop year. But as welcome as improved rail service has been, those records need to be put into context, says Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA). For starters grain production has been steadily increasing so setting shipping records has to