The province is “currently assessing policy options” for its fleet of hopper cars, says an analyst with Alberta Agriculture.
In the early ’80s, Alberta and Saskatchewan each purchased 1,000 hopper cars to supplement the fleet of 13,300 owned by the federal government, noted Chuanliang Su.
Saskatchewan sold its fleet to short line operators last year and Ottawa plans to keep its remaining 8,000 cars until the end of their serviceable life.
Both CN and CP Rail plan to buy thousands of new, more efficient hopper cars in the next few years. Leasing some of the hopper cars to short line railways and others is one option being considered in Alberta, said Su.