Grain firms warn railways swamping ports with grain

Canada’s big two railways, under mandatory federal performance targets for grain freight, are now flooding the West Coast and Thunder Bay with grain, the Western Grain Elevator Association warns.

Prairie grain elevator companies can handle the 11,000 cars a week the federal government has ordered the railways to move — but some of those cars need to go to the U.S. and Eastern Canada, executive director Wade Sobkowich tells the Manitoba Co-operator.

“We feel we can load and unload these cars in order to comply with the order, but it’s subject to rail cars coming at a consistent rate, apportioned appropriately among the corridors,” he said.

But the railways appear to be pushing all the deliveries to the West Coast and Thunder Bay ports, he said, so the ensuing congestion draws attention away from railway performance. [Related story]

“We can see it happening already,” said Sobkowich in an interview Tuesday. “They are going to jam us with cars and then try to make the point the industry can’t handle them anyway.”

CLICK HERE to read Allan Dawson’s article on the Manitoba Co-operator website.


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