GFM Network News


Federal work/rest rules to be updated for railway workers

More clarifications coming, Teamsters say

A perennial sticking point in work stoppages and labour disputes at Canada’s two major railways is expected to be at least somewhat addressed within the next two and a half years. Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau on Nov. 25 announced what’s billed as the first updates to the Duty/Rest Rules for Railway Operating Employees since […] Read more

New rail speed limits to be based on temperatures

Railways wanting to run under new limits must develop winter operation plans

Given the odds of weird temperature swings happening somewhere in Canada at any time of year, railways will now instead be required to slow their trains’ speeds based on how cold it is outside at the time, rather than a date range. Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau on Friday announced a new ministerial order meant […] Read more


Grain exports continue strong out of Thunder Bay

COVID-19 leads to increased demand, reduced oil traffic by rail

MarketsFarm — The Port of Thunder Bay reported another strong grain handling month in May, as more than 1.1 million tonnes of Canadian grain and oilseeds moved through the harbour on the northern shores of Lake Superior during the month. Increased demand from many countries stockpiling grain amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic was cited as […] Read more

Fuel, labour to pull grain freight cost indices lower

CP's share buybacks also a factor in its VRCPI

The numbers that decide how much revenue Canada’s big two railways get to keep from Prairie grain handling have been marked downward for the 2020-21 crop year. The Canadian Transportation Agency last week announced it will set the volume-related composite price index (VRCPI) at 1.4202 for Canadian National Railway (CN) and at 1.4205 for Canadian […] Read more


Ottawa expected to ‘officially’ declare ag an essential service

The Western Grain Elevator Association says that designation will clarify things and help to keep grain moving

Canada’s grain industry expects the federal government will soon officially declare agriculture an essential service. Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA), says that designation will have a practical application. “Hopefully it ends all confusion about grain workers at elevators, railway workers and anybody else required for moving grain, as to […] Read more

Garneau re-adjusts train speed limits

New limits in place for 'key trains' with dangerous goods

Having cut speed limits for trains hauling dangerous goods following a fiery derailment earlier this month, federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau is adjusting those limits for a “more targeted” approach. Garneau announced Sunday he has pulled his Feb. 6 ministerial order on speed limits and replaced it with a new one affecting so-called “key trains” […] Read more





Railways ration space as commodity congestion problems worsen

Winnipeg | Reuters — Canada’s two major railways are rationing space on trains traveling to the country’s biggest port and recently prioritized some commodities over others to deal with congestion, the latest indication of their struggle to meet demand from new trade deals. That move prompted Canada’s transport regulator last week to start an investigation […] Read more

Senate hands back transport bill, with changes

Federal legislation sought by farm groups wanting improvements to rail service for the grain sector is on its way back from the Senate to the House of Commons. Senators on Thursday afternoon passed Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act, on third reading — but with several amendments proposed Wednesday by the standing Senate committee on […] Read more