Barring a sudden pile-up of grain across Western Canada in the next five weeks, Ottawa will lift requirements that railways move minimum volumes of crops, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said in an interview.
While Ritz said he is not ruling out any options before the rules expire Nov. 29, government data show grain has flowed more smoothly since the current harvest began compared with a year ago.
North Dakota’s Commissioner of Agriculture said the Canadian Pacific Railway and its CEO are “arrogant” and that the company is less responsive than Burlington Northern Santa Fe, the state’s other major shipper.
On Sept. 23, the Canadian government dismissed complaints from Canadian National Railway Co. that fines for failing to ship the required minimum amounts of grain were unfair because there was not enough demand for grain shipments.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack met with Warren Buffett last week to urge the billionaire investor to make sure his BNSF railroad is ready for an expected record corn and soy harvest this year.
U.S. rail operators must put investment ahead of profits to clear the way for grain, automotive and chemical shipments now clogging the tracks, lawmakers said at a congressional hearing Wednesday about the health of the rail grid.
The U.S. Surface Transportation Board made history in North Dakota Sept. 4, holding its first field hearing there, and packing in a crowd of testifiers and onlookers concerned about whether railroads can make the trains run on time.
The U.S. Surface Transportation Board is making history in North Dakota today, holding its first field hearing there, and packing in a crowd of testifiers and onlookers concerned about whether railroads can make the trains run on time.
North Dakota’s Public Service Commission on Wednesday urged railroads to make faster progress on reducing the backlog of grain cars available so farmers and elevators can transport last year’s crop to market before this year’s harvest arrives, according to a release.
Canadian Pacific Railway CEO Hunter Harrison has offered to visit North Dakota to discuss the rail company’s efforts to reduce the backlog of grain shipments in the state. Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., accepted Harrison’s offer to meet in person with shippers and commodity groups in North Dakota, with details to be announced as soon as they are available.
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