The North Dakota Ag Rail Business Council will meet with top officials from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway in Mandan, N.D., on July 31, to discuss concerns about shipping grain for the upcoming small grain harvest, which is expected to be large.
Canadian Pacific Railway says it will create a new grain car ordering system for its fleet, as well as add more cars. The announcement is in response to a June 20 order by the Surface Transportation Board requiring CP and Burlington Northern Santa Fe to develop a plan to catch up on severely late grain car shipments.
BNSF reports 32 of its goal of 52 trainloads of fertilizer over a six-week period beginning April 12 have been delivered, an increase from 26 trainloads from last week’s report. The CP report notes 177 train cars were delivered in North Dakota during the week of April 27, an increase from 109 cars during the week of April 20.
John Miller, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway agricultural group vice president on May 2 said the company’s volumes had increased overall, ag volume has increased 9 percent from April and is now at the best level since October 2013.
On May 1, the speaker of Canada’s House of Commons rejected a bill amendment that would allow the government to force railway companies to compensate shippers for expenses incurred because of railways’ failure to deliver service.
The North Dakota Public Service Commission is jumping into the fray about whether it can or should take legal action on behalf of farmers and grain elevators who allege railways are favoring oil transportation.
Shuttle train turnaround times to the Pacific Northwest increased somewhat in the past week, according to Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. Those turnarounds, however, are still slower than grain elevators say they can accept.
Canadian grain shipments by rail have picked up since earlier this month when Ottawa ordered Canadian National Railway Co. and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. to improve service, CN and a grain-handling group said on March 18.
The Canadian government said on Thursday it would take action to address a lack of rail capacity that has led to a backlog of grain shipments, with two top ministers set to provide details on Friday.
March 07, 2014
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