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Canadian Pacific has added resources and implemented a more transparent service offering and report to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to reduce agriculture shipment delays in North Dakota, U.S. Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) announced yesterday.In mid-August, when the senator invited CP officials to the state to meet with shippers and agriculture groups, the railroad was spotting 1,900 cars for customers per week. Now, the Class I is spotting more than 2,700 cars per week, Hoeven said in a press release. The senator has been pressing CP of late to provide additional resources to help meet North Dakota's current and future ag shipping needs. CP also is working to improve train turnaround times by implementing centralized train control, which reduces the need for stops and slow downs, said Hoeven. In addition, the railroad has instituted a new system for shuttle shippers that dedicates trainload capacity directly to customers for the duration of a crop year, while on-shuttle shippers now can book cars each week for four consecutive weeks on a rolling basis and update their orders weekly.Moreover, CP has committed to investing $500 million in upgrades to its U.S. system over the next two years, including $180 million to increase capacity, such as by building sidings and installing centralized train control, said Hoeven.The Class I reported its progress to the STB using a more transparent method, showing that open requests have dropped to 3,000 cars as of last week, down from 4,200 and an average delay of 10 weeks, he said."We will continue to press Canadian Pacific to devote the resources necessary to catch up on agriculture shipments until they are up to date," said Hoeven. "Last week, a review of their situation showed progress, though clearly they will need to do more in terms of resources and staff to meet the demands of North Dakota’s growing economy. With the harvest in full swing, we need to ensure the railroad is doing all it can to meet not only this year’s needs, but also next year’s."
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