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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Central Manitoba Railway wins Canadian rail association's marketing award

Yesterday, the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) named Central Manitoba Railway (CEMR) the winner of its 2012 Marketing Award. Each year, the association recognizes a Canadian short line’s marketing effort that helped accelerate and increase the flow of goods through the freight-rail supply chain, and improve customer service.

RAC honored CEMR for its mobile fuel-blending system that enables customers to precisely blend traditional diesel with biodiesel. The system also allows fuel suppliers to comply with Manitoba's biofuels act, which mandates that all diesel be blended with 2 percent of biodiesel.

CEMR was approached by diesel supplier Astra and petroleum company Imperial Oil to devise a way to transform existing diesel supplies into biodiesel blends in accordance with provincial regulations. The 118-mile short line created a mobile liquid blending and distribution unit designed to blend liquids at a rate of 1,200 liters per minute. The unit can be attached to four fuel sources and create one blended, final product.

“Existing fuel facilities were not designed or equipped to do the job, so new technology had to be created to allow us to quickly and precisely blend diesel and biodiesel together, and get the final product back into the customer's hands quickly,” said Mac MacDonald, CEMR's sales and business development manager, in a prepared statement.

The short line used its transportation center near Imperial Oil's facility as the blending location, and transported low sulfur diesel from Imperial Oil while bringing in biodiesel from the United States via Canadian Pacific.

“CEMR had the flexibility and innovative capacity to solve a problem that otherwise would have resulted in significant modifications to existing fuel processing operations and possible delays in meeting Manitoba's biodiesel mandate,” said RAC President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Bourque.

RAC also named the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad (Québec) Inc. as the marketing award runner-up for its planned windmill parts distribution center.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/18/2012