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Canadian Pacific formally unveiled its next-generation grain trainsets on December 4, during the opening of an upgraded loading terminal near Moose Jaw attended by Saskatchewan’s Minister of Highways & Infrastructure Lori Carr.
Designated High Efficiency Product, the 2 590 m long unit trains are expected to carry 44% more grain than the older trainsets that they are replacing.
Under a C$500m investment package announced on June 7, CP intends to procure 5 900 new hopper wagons for grain transport over the next four years. It has ordered an initial batch of 1 000 vehicles from National Steel Car for delivery by the spring of 2019, and expects to have 500 in traffic by the end of this year.
The new hopper wagons are 5% shorter than the traditional ‘Government of Canada’ model which form the bulk of the present fleet, allowing the railway to increase its grain trains from 112 to 118 vehicles within the current 2 135 m length or 147 vehicles in the longer HEP sets. Each wagon carries a payload 10% greater by weight and 15% by volume.
The opening of a new balloon loop and fast loading facility at the G3 Pasqua elevator complex allows the main line locomotives to remain attached to the train in their distributed power configuration, speeding the loading process and improving throughput.
‘A state-of-the-art loop track terminal like this is the perfect backdrop for launching our first HEP train and bringing in a new, more efficient era of moving Canada’s grain to market’, said CP's Vice-President Sales & Marketing, Grain & Fertilizers, Joan Hardy. ‘As CP continues to take delivery of new railcars, and elevator operators expand their facilities, this HEP train will become the new gold standard, driving further efficiencies for farmers, shippers and the entire grain supply chain.’
On the same day, CP reported that it had broken its previous monthly record for shipping grain and grain products to the Port of Vancouver, during ‘another very strong month for the movement of Canadian grain’. In November it transported more than 17 150 carloads totalling 1·54 million tonnes.
This article first appeared on www.railwaygazette.com
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