GFM Network News


A record 12 months of grain shipping for CN

A record 12 months of grain shipping for CN

Reading Time: < 1 minute CN Rail says it set another grain shipping record in February, the 12th consecutive month it has set a new record. The railway said it moved 2.28 million tonnes of Canadian grain and grain products in February, breaking the old mark of 2.12 million tonnes by seven per cent. Since the start of the crop […] Read more

This CP derailment in February near Guernsey — the second in two months near the Saskatchewan hamlet — prompted the federal transport minister to restrict the speed of trains carrying crude oil or liquid petroleum gas. Those rules, which could have impacted movement of other rail freight, have been dialled back under certain conditions.

Minister revises order on rail speed limits in cold weather

Higher-risk trains can back up other rail traffic; revised order eases some restrictions

Reading Time: 2 minutes The federal transport minister has revised an order that railways feared would unnecessarily slow down freight traffic on frigid winter days. The new rule dials back one issued last spring after the fiery derailment of a CP Rail train carrying crude oil near Guernsey, Sask. in February. Although the order by the federal transport minister was […] Read more


Grain movement has been phenomenal since spring, but the coming winter will test the capabilities of both railways.

Will the gusher of grain movement continue?

Shipping records have shattered but the big test comes when the snow flies

Reading Time: 4 minutes The grain transportation system has been ‘pounding it,’ with monthly records falling like flies through spring, summer and even into harvest. So will it continue? That will depend on sales and demand from other sectors that ship by rail, say experts. “We’ve done very well in the aftermath of everything that’s happened in the last […] Read more

Railways say they’re more prepared than ever

Railways say they’re more prepared than ever

Increased capital spending and better technology will improve performance, CN and CP both say

Reading Time: 3 minutes When the federal government passed the Transportation Modernization Act in 2018, the headline news was the requirement for railways to negotiate level-of-service agreements with grain companies — and face penalties for poor service. But the act also requires the railways to produce ‘winter plans’ to show how they’ll keep grain moving when the weather turns […] Read more


CN and CP Rail moved a record 54.3 million tonnes of grain in the last crop year. Better performance has been accompanied by a willingness to listen to farm groups and grain companies, and that has made a significant difference, say two Alberta farm leaders.

Working on the railroad — and getting grain moving

Things aren’t perfect but railways and farm groups are slowly rebuilding trust after years of conflict

Reading Time: 4 minutes They’re not besties yet — but the relationship between farm groups and the railways has undergone a sea change over the last few years. After years of vociferous complaints about poor rail service, the federal government cracked the whip in 2014, ordering CP and CN Rail to move one million tonnes of grain weekly or […] Read more

Photo: File

Crop year ends with grain export record

Both major railways have announced record grain shipments, and with a more than a week left in the crop year, total Canadian grain exports had already topped last year’s record. The Canadian Grain Commission reports that as of July 21, with 10 days left in the 2018-19 crop year, total exports of Canadian grain had […] Read more


Both railways are ordering new locomotives, but they will take several months for delivery.

Railway pace ahead of last year

Both major rail companies were on track for good performance coming into 2019, but poor weather has derailed their progress

Reading Time: 5 minutes Grain shipments by rail are leaps and bounds ahead of last year — but there’s still a long way to go. “I think both railways have really stepped up the volume, but we haven’t been without our issues,” said Mark Hemmes, president of Quorum Corporation, the agency tasked with monitoring grain movement by rail. “If […] Read more

Nearly half of all railway-related deaths and injuries result from accidents at crossings.

Upgrades slated for a host of crossings

Seventeen rail crossings will see upgrades in the coming year in locations across the province

Reading Time: 2 minutes The federal government is spending $3.3 million to improve rail safety at 18 locations in Alberta. The funds will be used on three types of projects: Install flashing lights, bells, and gates at crossings. Install advanced train detection and crossing control system. build fencing and other barriers to discourage trespassing on railway properties. Almost half […] Read more


Grain is loading slowing down at port terminals, such as at Cargill’s newly expanded Northern Vancouver facility.

Farmers call for action on grain transportation

Thousands of rail cars haven’t been delivered in what has been the worst performance since the crisis of 2013-14

Reading Time: 4 minutes Farm groups are redoubling their efforts to get the federal Liberals to move Canadian grain — but their pleas appear to be falling on deaf ears. Olds-area farmer Jeff Nielsen travelled with other farm leaders to Ottawa at the start of the month in a bid to get the government to crack a whip and […] Read more

Farmers once again railing against slow grain movement

Farmers once again railing against slow grain movement

Slow grain movement this winter is bringing back bad memories for many

Reading Time: 5 minutes Despite recent improvements to rail transportation in Canada, farmers are still forced to rely on a largely unreliable system. “Rail is the backbone of the economy, but it’s also the Achilles heel,” said Mark Hemmes, president of Quorum Corporation. The 2016-17 crop year was one for the books. Despite a slow start, the system set […] Read more