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Rail News: Canadian Pacific

Canadian Pacific continues moving record amounts of grain


Canadian Pacific continues to set records for transporting Canadian grain and grain products, marking 22.5 million metric tonnes (MMT) moved from the start of the 2018-19 crop year through May 31, the Class I announced today.

Since August 2018, CP moved about 500,000 metric tonnes more grain than ever before, breaking a record set at this time in the 2015-16 crop year, said Joan Hardy, CP's vice president sales and marketing, grain and fertilizers.

"We continue to innovate in lose collaboration with our customers and supply chain enablers, and we look forward to delivering for farmers and the North American economy as we close out this crop year and prepare for the next," said Hardy in a press release.

To Vancouver, British Columbia, CP moved 15.0 MMT through May 31, breaking the prior record set in the 2016-17 crop year by 5 percent. May also was a record month for grain products, not including whole grains, both from a carload and a volume perspective.

Meanwhile, April was an all-time record month for Canadian grain and grain products as CP moved a best-ever 2.643 MMT, bettering the previous record from October 2018. In November 2018, the Class I broke its previous record for carloads of western Canadian grain and grain products shipped to the Port of Vancouver in a single month, with 17,150, CP officials said.

CP has been acquiring new hopper cars to improve its service. It now has more than 1,000 new high-capacity hoppers in its fleet. By year's end, the railroad expects more than 1,900 new hopper cars to be in service.

The fleet will continue to expand in the years ahead, as part of CP's $500 million commitment to invest in 5,900 new hopper cars. Shippers can load up to 10 percent more grain in the cars compared to the older, less efficient cars they are replacing, CP officials said.

CP's 8,500-foot high efficiency product (HEP) train model, announced in summer 2018, is gaining significant traction with CP customers, they added. Construction is underway at five CP-served facilities, enabling them to start shipping under the HEP train model this fall, adding to the seven existing CP-served 8,500-foot loop track facilities. Four more 8,500-foot HEP-qualified facilities will be operating by spring 2020.

"By the spring of next year, 20 percent of CP's unit train elevator network will be loading the highly-efficient 8,500-foot HEP trains, which, coupled with the new hopper cars, can move up to 44 percent more grain per train," Hardy said.