GFM Network News



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

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


Farmers dump bags of corn grain in front of the Papineau riding office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Montreal, as they protest the lack of propane due to the CN strike, on Nov. 25, 2019.

Make rail transport an essential service, say crop commissions

Wheat and barley commissions say crop sector can’t afford to have strikes ‘every few years’

The longest rail strike in a decade is over, but the need for a new way to deal with rail disruptions is as pressing as ever, say Alberta Wheat and Alberta Barley. “The threat of strikes affecting grain movement is a recurring theme every few years and we need a long-term solution to ensure Canada […] Read more

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