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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

CN marks opening of jet fuel offloading facility in Toronto


Moving jet fuel has become a fast-growing segment of CN’s business. The Class I now supplies the fuel to airlines serving Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International Airport — business that didn’t exist for the railroad five years ago.

Yesterday, CN, airline and other representatives marked the opening of a $59 million jet fuel rail offloading, storage and distribution facility adjacent to the Class I’s yard in northwest Toronto and near the airport. The facility features sidings that can accommodate the unloading of 26 tank cars at the same time on two tracks. Additional track that will be used to unload another 20 cars is under construction and expected to enter service by the third quarter’s end.

"The changing dynamics of jet-fuel supply for airlines serving Pearson airport now require the carriers to strategically source fuel across the globe, and this has opened the door to rail to play an increasingly important role in these longer supply chains,” said James Foote, CN’s executive vice-president of sales and marketing, in a prepared statement. “We see potential for future jet-fuel traffic moves in Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg."

FSM Management Group Inc. oversees the facility on behalf of the 33-airline member Toronto Fuel Committee, which leases it from owner Pearson International Fuel Facilities Corp. This year, FSM expects to transfer 775 million liters of jet fuel to the facility via tank cars, representing about 40 percent of the airport’s annual requirement.

Jet fuel previously was unloaded at a facility in CN's main classification yard north of Toronto and trucked to the airport. The Class I now transports fuel to the Pearson terminal from a facility at a port in Quebec City and a CN WorldWide North America transload terminal in Flat Rock, Mich., which obtains fuel from Toledo, Ohio.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/22/2009