Canadian agriculture leaders want better rail service, tougher regulations

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A Canadian National grain train in Reford, Saskatchewan, in September 2010.
Craig Williams
REGINA, Saskatchewan — Agriculture and local leaders from Saskatchewan and Alberta recently gathered to discuss Canada’s transportation system and the shipment of agricultural products by rail.

The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities recently led a roundtable discussion focused on railroad revenue caps, grain movements during the winter months, and penalties for poor rail service.

The organization’s membership recently passed a resolution that reviews the revenue cap formula. There was a consensus at the Aug. 18 roundtable discussion that harsher penalties should also be implemented for railroads that do not provide acceptable service levels.

The organization says it wants to avoid grain movement backlogs they saw from the winter of 2014 and members believe tougher penalties will enforce good service.

The organization also wants to see more grain trains moved during the winter months to reduce wear and tear on roadways. The group is calling on railways to make sure locomotives, equipment and train crews are prepared and equipped for the upcoming winter season.

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