Canada’s two major railways; Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) and Canadian National Railway (CN), bounced back in April after criticisms over their recent grain performance. Along with calls for increased service was a determination by the Canadian Transportation Agency that CN breached its service obligations (a decision which CN plans to appeal). In a recent news release, CN reported that the “total tonnage of grain moved out of Western Canada was an all-time record 2.72 Million Metric Tons (MMT) compared to the three-year average of 2.23 MMT.” (CN, 1). Similarly, CP reported strong numbers in their own news release stating that “April was an all-time record month for Canadian grain and grain products. CP moved a best-ever 2.643 million metric tonnes (MMT) of Canadian grain and grain products this past month, bettering the previous record from October 2018.” (CP, 2).
Both companies have confirmed their intention to supply new hopper cars with increased capacity to deal with growing demand. For CN, this investment means “higher capacity payload hopper cars, with up to 10 per cent more capacity than the older generation” which allow for the phasing out of the older generation and the increasing ability to service future crop yields.