GFM Network News


You expect to see grain elevators along a rail line but what are those white things? They’re windmill components which have been offloaded at Forty Mile Rail’s Foremost yard while awaiting assembly. This year will be upgraded as part of $9 million in planned infrastructure improvements.

Southern Alberta short line is hauling in jobs and economic activity

Forty Mile Rail purchased a long-abandoned rail line in 2016 and got the trains moving again

A group in southern Alberta has taken back a section of a short line rail, and area communities are enjoying the dividends. “We started Forty Mile Rail back in 2016,” said Lorne Buis, a director of the 75-kilometre-long rail line that runs from Stirling to Foremost. Last month, the group received $4.2 million of federal […] Read more

Big is better — and faster is better yet — at Paterson Grain’s Foothills Terminal at Bowden. The facility recently loaded the single largest grain train ever seen in Alberta. The train had 147 new high-capacity hopper cars while the Bowden terminal is one of a growing number of facilities with new loop-track/power-on setups.

One mighty big grain train rolls out of Alberta

With nearly 15,000 tonnes of grain on board, this train was like nothing seen before

In the years ahead, you may find yourself stuck at a rail crossing a little longer as a grain train rumbles by. And you might want to use that extra time to say thanks for modern technology. Paterson Grain recently set a new record when it loaded 147 new high-capacity hopper cars with a whopping […] Read more


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

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


This CP Rail graphic shows how new hopper cars and longer trains will eventually up the capacity of a unit train by nearly 45 per cent.

CP joins CN in rejuvenating grain hopper car fleet

New-generation hopper cars are shorter, 
carry more grain, and are faster to load and unload

CP Rail says it will spend more than $500 million on new high-capacity grain hopper cars. The company announced last month it has ordered 1,000 new hopper cars and expects to see more than 500 of them in service by the end of the year. “These new rail cars will revitalize our fleet,” said CP […] Read more

Bill C-49 was written to make railways accountable when their service is poor and also changes the amount of money railways can earn shipping Western grain.

A new day dawns and hope blossoms for Prairie grain farmers

The proof will be in the pudding, but farm leaders and grain companies agree the ‘building blocks’ are there

It’s a battle that took more than a decade to wage — but producers should see the benefits of the new grain transportation law this fall, says a pair of Alberta farm leaders. “I expect we’ll see advantages right away,” said Alberta Wheat chair Kevin Bender. “When the previous government brought in previous legislation after […] Read more


There’s a risk that Bill C-49 won’t become law as the House of Commons only sits until June 22 to leave for summer break.

Transport bill delays blasted

Delays in passing Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act, means farmers could see another crop year with no mechanisms in place to hold the railways accountable, say the Alberta Wheat Commission and Alberta Barley. Read more: Grain groups rip lawmakers over derailed transport bill Political manoeuvring has stalled the legislation and there’s an increasing risk […] Read more

The amendments will include many changes that shippers’ groups had sought including better extended interswitching terms and giving the Canadian Transportation Agency powers to investigate rail service issues.

Transport minister wins praise for agreeing to amendments

The federal transport minister will put forward a motion to accept Senate alterations to the bill

Alberta Wheat and Alberta Barley — along with many other farm groups — are praising the federal transport minister for accepting several amendments to his transport modernization bill. Now they want Marc Garneau to get working and ensure the bill is passed before Parliament’s summer break. Read more: Farmers seek ‘urgent’ action from Senate on rail […] Read more


With winter coming to an end, rail service should improve — but that will come too late for farmers needing cash before seeding.

Farm leaders again ask government to act

But with spring road bans and seeding season approaching, any moves are likely ‘too little, too late’

“Too little too late.” That comment from the president of the Grain Growers of Canada likely sums it up for many producers across the Prairies. “While western grain farmers are pleased to see that the government and railways have recognized the negative impact that poor rail service is having on farmers, it shouldn’t take a […] 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

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