Digest: CN announces record year of grain movement, plans for 2020-21 grain season

News Wire Digest second section for July 31: Trump signs permit for second international rail bridge in Laredo; first EMU trainset for Caltrain is complete
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More Friday morning rail news:

CN marks record grain year, releases plan for 2020-21

Canadian National announced completion of a record year for grain movement on Thursday, and said it would dedicate more equipment to the commodity next year as part of its 2020-21 Grain Plain. CN moved more than 30 million metric tons of Canadian grain in the 2019-20 season, including more than 28.2 million metric tons from Western Canada and more than 1.1 million metric tons by intermodal container. As part of the grain plan, the railroad will use up to 7,600 hopper cars for grain movement outside of winter and up to 6,100 cars during the winter. The railroad recently ordered another 1,500 hopper cars for its grain fleet [see “Digest: VRE to add additional trip …,” July 22, 2020]. “As an essential transportation service to the economy, to our customers, supply-chain partners, and the communities we serve,” CN CEO JJ Ruest said in a press release, “we remain committed to making capacity-enhancing investments to our network and to upgrade our rolling stock.” The CN grain plan is available here.

Trump signs permit for second international rail bridge in Laredo
President Donald Trump has signed a permit allowing construction of a second international rail bridge in Laredo, Texas, just five months after Kansas City Southern submitted its application. The Laredo Morning Times reports Trump signed the permit during a Wednesday appearance in Midland, Texas, as part of series of actions supporting export of crude oil to Mexico. The new bridge will be built adjacent to the current bridge, which KCS official Warren Erdman says is operating near capacity. Design and engineering work is currently under way, but the bridge is probably two to three years from completion.

First Caltrain EMU completed, to begin testing
The first electric multiple unit trainset for Caltrain has been completed at Stadler’s Salt Lake City plant, and will be heading to the AAR’s Pueblo, Colo., test facility once initial tests are complete at the factory. International Railway Journal reports a second trainset will go to Elmira, N.Y., for climate testing. The company will be building 19 seven-car Kiss trainsets for the Bay Area commuter railroad, which is undergoing electrification.


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