GFM Network News


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


Farmers say railway crossing rule changes need more time.

Prairie farm groups want deadline extended on private rail crossing upgrades

Farmers also don’t want to foot the bill for upgrades and crossing maintenance

Private grade railway crossings must be upgraded to make them safer by Nov. 28, 2021, but Prairie farm groups want the federal government to extend the deadline. The groups also oppose farmers having to pay for the upgrades and ongoing maintenance. “It has traditionally been the responsibility of the railways to maintain and upgrade the

This truck didn’t survive its meeting with a train, but the driver did, and was released from hospital the same day with minor injuries.

One train, two accidents

Manitoba RCMP say one train was involved in two separate non-fatal incidents at uncontrolled intersections

Call it a Christmas miracle. A Canadian Pacific train was involved in two separate non-fatal accidents at uncontrolled intersections within a couple of hours, underlining the need for proactive safety measures on the part of drivers, according to the RCMP. “Many railroad tracks in Manitoba go through rural areas and cross roads at uncontrolled intersections,”

Federal work/rest rules to be updated for railway workers

More clarifications coming, Teamsters say

A perennial sticking point in work stoppages and labour disputes at Canada’s two major railways is expected to be at least somewhat addressed within the next two and a half years. Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau on Nov. 25 announced what’s billed as the first updates to the Duty/Rest Rules for Railway Operating Employees since


Railways are moving record amounts of grain -- but that's needed because farmers keep growing so much.

Mixed messages: Declining order fulfilment accompanies grain shipping record

Increased grain production means new records are needed to move the crop, shippers say

Canada’s two main railways keep breaking grain movement records, but oddly, on-time car delivery has fallen compared to the same period last crop year. It’s counterintuitive, but the explanation is simple: grain companies have ordered 13 per cent more cars this crop year, and the railways, while setting records, aren’t keeping up with the increased

New rail speed limits to be based on temperatures

Railways wanting to run under new limits must develop winter operation plans

Given the odds of weird temperature swings happening somewhere in Canada at any time of year, railways will now instead be required to slow their trains’ speeds based on how cold it is outside at the time, rather than a date range. Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau on Friday announced a new ministerial order meant

Winter performance will be make-or-break for Canada’s grain industry.

Will the gusher of grain movement continue this winter?

Shipping records have shattered but the big test comes when the snow flies and temperatures drop

Glacier FarmMedia – The grain transportation system has been ‘pounding it,’ with monthly records falling like flies through spring, summer and even into harvest. So will it continue? That will depend on sales and demand from other sectors that ship by rail, say experts. “We’ve done very well in the aftermath of everything that’s happened


CN says it’s set with a strong winter program and the resources to deliver, raising the possibility grain shipments could set a new all-time record three crop years in a row.

Grain-shipping three-peat possible

Western Canada could ship another record amount of grain this crop year but it’s going to take good management and good luck

While the 2020-21 crop year is young, when it ends next July 31 it’s possible western Canadian grain shipping will have set another record — the third in a row. A three-peat requires a big crop, rail capacity, good management and luck, but it’s off to an unprecedented start, says Canada’s grain monitor, Mark Hemmes,

Grain exports continue strong out of Thunder Bay

COVID-19 leads to increased demand, reduced oil traffic by rail

MarketsFarm — The Port of Thunder Bay reported another strong grain handling month in May, as more than 1.1 million tonnes of Canadian grain and oilseeds moved through the harbour on the northern shores of Lake Superior during the month. Increased demand from many countries stockpiling grain amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic was cited as