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

Both CP Rail and CN Rail continue to set records for grain movement and that’s earning praise from farm groups that had long been at odds with the railways.

Record-setting performance earns kudos for railways

Farm group offers its congratulations but says improved grain movement needs to ‘stay that way’

Reading Time: 2 minutes It’s something that would have seemed unimaginable even a few years ago — a major grain group issuing a news release just to praise the performance of the two big railways. “The Western Canadian Wheat Growers offers congratulations to both CN Rail and CP for the record volume of grain and grain products moved in […] Read more


Pulse Canada podcast focuses on grain transport

Pulse Canada podcast focuses on grain transport

Reading Time: < 1 minute Pulse Canada has launched a new weekly podcast on transportation of grain in Western Canada The podcast features Greg Northey, Pulse Canada’s vice-president of corporate affairs, interviewing Milt Poirier, who manages the AgTransport Coalition, which was created nearly six years ago to monitor the performance of railways in terms of grain movement. The coalition produces […] 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


G3’s newly opened terminal in North Vancouver — which can load up to 6,500 tonnes an hour — is the latest improvement to a shipping network that has been moving unprecedented amounts of grain during the pandemic.

Railways ‘blowing the doors off’ with grain movement

It could be a record year for movement but bottlenecks remain despite heavy investment

Reading Time: 4 minutes Grain is flying off the Prairies now that it’s not competing with other sectors for space on the rail network. “We’ve always said that the terminals, the grain companies, and the processors feel that they can move more,” said Steve Pratte, manager of policy development at the Canadian Canola Growers Association. “This year, we’ve had […] Read more

The grain trains just keep getting bigger

The grain trains just keep getting bigger

Reading Time: < 1 minute Less than a year after loading the province’s largest-ever grain train, Paterson Grain’s Foothills terminal at Bowden has upped the record by a wide margin. The terminal recently loaded 16,313 tonnes of grain on 167 new high-capacity hopper cars — 10 per cent more grain than on a 147-car train last summer. The train was […] Read more


Anti-pipeline blockades — like this one in Edmonton in mid-February — are only part of the reason
why grain is backed up. But the situation will take months to fully be resolved.

Grain is moving but it will take months to catch up

Canada’s reputation as a reliable grain supplier has taken a hit

Reading Time: 4 minutes There won’t be a quick fix for a ‘perfect storm’ that has set grain movement back by at least three months. The problems started with the late harvest across the Prairies followed by the week-long CN Rail strike in November and then cold weather and mudslides. By the time the anti-pipeline rail blockades hit in […] Read more

A ghostly view of ships anchored in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet on March 2. These are just a small fraction of the dozens of freighter and container ships anchored in the Gulf Islands and along the coast of Vancouver Island — all waiting for the backlog at the Port of Vancouver to be cleared.

Rail delays have everyone ‘ripping their hair out’

Every West Coast anchorage spot is filled as ships wait for rail traffic to get back to normal

Reading Time: 4 minutes It was a cold and rainy day — a gloomy but an apt setting for producers and grain industry officials touring the Port of Vancouver and witnessing the backlog of ships anchored in Burrard Inlet. The ships were barely visible in the fog for tour attendees, delegates to the Canadian Crops Convention held here earlier […] Read more