CP growing long train strategy

by MM&D staff

CALGARY: As part of CP’s 2011 capital expansion program, the company will develop its long train strategy with the installation of new and extended sidings in several key regions throughout its network. The strategy, says CP, will allow it to further benefit from train length increases.

By the end of 2013, the railway is targeting an 11-percent increase in transcontinental train lengths by adding growing volumes into existing trains. CP now operates intermodal trains of up to 12,000ft, an increase of 40 percent since 2008. The railway says benefits of long trains include reduced fuel consumption, capital maintenance and labour savings, as well as improved safety and efficiency.

“By increasing train lengths and realizing strategic long siding investments, CP is maximizing productivity and service while reducing labour costs and increasing fuel efficiency,” said CP’s executive vice-president of operations Mike Franczak. “Longer trains allow CP to respond to volume variability without adding extra train starts or leaving business behind, thus improving service for our customers.”

Similar capital investments in the western end of CP’s network are enabling potash train sizes to increase by 20 percent and unit coal train sizes to increase by 18 percent. CP has been at the forefront of designing and running long trains using locotrol technology for remote locomotive operations and TrAM, its state-of-the art train area marshaling software. TrAM’s technology ensures in-train forces are kept within safe standards, reducing wear on track infrastructure.