Progressive Railroading

Newsletter Sign Up
Stay updated on news, articles and information for the rail industry

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

View Current Digital Issue »


Rail News Home Maintenance Of Way


Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

CPR cites three reasons to start multi-phased capacity expansion program


Canadian Pacific Railway officials have been waiting about a year for three things to happen before beginning a multi-phased capacity expansion program: a sustained demand increase, improving margins and a stable regulatory climate. The wait is over. Yesterday, the Class I announced it will begin the project’s first phase on its western corridor between the Prairie region west of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and the Port of Vancouver.

To be completed in fall, the $128.2 million first phase is designed to increase CPR's western Canadian capacity 12 percent or more than 400 rail cars per day. Work will be divided into 25 projects, including 12 siding extension and double-track installation projects between Calgary, Alberta, and the port; 10 siding extension and double-track installation projects between Moose Jaw and Calgary; and three siding extension and construction projects between Edmonton, Alberta, and Calgary.

The project’s timing is right because federal and western provincial governments have created a positive business climate for capital investment, shippers’ markets are growing, and the railroad recently obtained a five-year contract from Elk Valley Coal Corp. to increase coal volumes and rates through 2009, said CPR President and Chief Executive Officer Rob Ritchie in a prepared statement. In addition, three major potash producers served by the railroad plan to increase annual production 2.6 million tons between second-quarter 2006 and fourth-quarter 2007.

By increasing capacity, CPR will improve service to and from the port, which plans to expand.

"Increased trade with China and other Asian countries has clearly shown that transportation capacity can be an enabler of economic growth,” said Ritchie. “Canadian shippers and ports want to participate in growing global markets [and] want us to expand track capacity, and we are encouraged enough to take the initial step.”

The project’s cost isn’t factored into CPR’s $609 million capital spending plan this year, which includes $368 million for maintenance-of-way (MOW) work. The railroads’ MOW budget includes funds to install 265 miles of new rail, relay 175 miles of rail, replace or install more than 900,000 wood ties, and lay 778,000 tons of ballast.

To learn more about CPR’s MOW program — as well as obtain information on other Class Is’, and regionals’, short lines’ and passenger railroads’ track maintenance plans — see Progressive Railroading’s April issue.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/19/2005