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4/6/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Canadian grain shippers' association pans Class Is' service, seeks solutions


Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railway Co. aren’t providing adequate service for Canadian grain shippers and should work with the Western Grain Elevator Association to address concerns, association officials said in a statement released yesterday. The Class Is have struggled to spot empty cars and “provide timely delivery” of loaded cars to Canadian ports and markets, and U.S. and Mexican destinations, officials said.

"Over the past four years, farmers and, in turn, grain handling companies have witnessed well below-average production levels and therefore lower-than-average exports of grains and oilseeds," said association Executive Director Wade Sobkowich, adding that poor crops will continue to hold down exports.

Because the service problems are occurring in a year when grain and oilseed exports are below average, “how will CN and CPR respond when production and export levels return to more normal levels, let alone a bumper crop?” Sobkowich asked.

The association represents nine farmer-owned, public and private grain businesses that handle more than 90 percent of western Canada's bulk grain exports, and own and operate grain-handling facilities nationwide.


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