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Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN

CN sets records for grain movement


CN moved more Canadian grain during the 2018-2019 crop year than ever before, and set multiple records despite restrictions on Canadian canola exports to China, the Class I announced today.

Many of the records were achieved during the peak demand period and despite extreme weather conditions, CN officials said in a press release.

During the 2018-2019 crop year, the Class I moved more than 27 million metric tonnes (MMT) of grain compared with the previous record of 26 MMT set in 2016-2017. In the 2017-2018 year, CN moved 25 MMT of grain.

November 2018 broke CN's best individual month record for grain movement at 2.71 MMT. That record was surpassed again in April, when CN moved 2.72 MMT.

Additionally, was able to deliver seven individual weeks of more than 7,000 hopper cars of grain movement per week. During the past crop year, CN also moved 1 MMT of grain in containers.

CN President and Chief Executive Officer JJ Ruest attributed the record-breaking season to the railroad's CA$7.4 billion investment in its "people, equipment and capacity."

"With more locomotives, more crews, and a renewed fleet of rail cars, we are determined to enable the growth of natural resources export supply chains via West Coast ports," Ruest said.

CN is "optimistic" about the upcoming harvest, said CN Vice President of Bulk Allen Foster.

"Grain customers have also focused on locating the majority of brand new high throughput elevators in western Canada on CN — we saw seven open between June 2018 and July 2019, another four announced during the 2018-19 crop year, and two more will open shortly," Foster said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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