Canadian railways set monthly record by moving 6.3 million tonnes of grain in October

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CALGARY — Canada's two largest railways transported a record monthly total of 6.3 million tonnes of Canadian grain in October.

Montreal-based CN Rail ended the month moving 3.27 million tonnes while Canadian Pacific Railway shipped 3.04 million tonnes.

It was the first time that both railways exceeded the three million tonne threshold in a month.

CP's total topped its previous monthly record set last April, by 6.9 per cent.

The result came as CN Rail's shipments were 13.5 per cent above its previous record of 2.88 million tonnes set a year ago.

Calgary-based CP was also up 14.2 per cent from the 2.66 million tonnes of grain transported in October 2019.

"CP's customers are managing strong and healthy supply chains to the ports, where new and expanded terminal capacity is facilitating very strong flows of grain," stated Joan Hardy, vice-president sales and marketing grain and fertilizers.

Both railways are investing in adding larger hopper cars.

CP has added 3,300 of its commitment for 5,900 units that carry 15 per cent more volume and 10 per cent more weight compared with older cars they are replacing.

CN says it has received the first of 1,500 high-capacity grain hoppers with 600 to enter into service by the end of the year. That's on top of an order in 2018 for 1,000 grain cars that are all in service.

"The expedited delivery of the new hopper cars also reiterates our commitment to being ready for 2021 and beyond with additional capacity and confidence in our ability to deliver safely for our customers, the economy and the communities we serve," said Rob Reilly, chief operating officer of CN.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 3, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:CNR, TSX:CP)

The Canadian Press