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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Saskatchewan short line buys grain hoppers from province

The short line bought 150 grain cars from the Saskatchewan government.
Photo – Great Western Railway Ltd.

Great Western Railway Ltd. (GWR) has announced it won a bid to purchase 150 grain hoppers from the Saskatchewan government. The largest short line in the province, GWR operates 450 miles of track and serves shippers in the agriculture, energy, aggregates and potash industries.

"This is the first purchase of its kind since our inception, when the line was first purchased from Canadian Pacific in 2000," GWR officials said in an announcement.

Due to the ever-changing Canadian grain market, the railroad has been seeking new opportunities to move more grain along its line and to export markets, they said.

"With CP's commitment to provide us with consistent car supply along with some operational changes we have made internally over the past couple years, our rail-car supply availability from CP has been at 100 percent almost every week since the fall of 2015," GWR officials said. "This has been the case even during the busiest periods and when supply was tight elsewhere."

With the new car investment, the short line is better positioned to boost shippers' confidence in its car availability, and gain flexibility in short-term storage and handling of grain traffic on its route, they said.

Over the past few years, GWR has increased track maintenance, built infrastructure, purchased additional track and land, expanded and upgraded its locomotive fleet, and acquired on- and off-track equipment.

"We see this current purchase of rail cars as another very significant step forward in providing the highest level of service and reliability to our global shippers and the local growers across the southwest," GWR officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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