Ferroequus Railway Company Limited has filed an application for running rights over Canadian National Railway track linking Lloydminster to Prince Rupert, and Camrose to Prince Rupert.
If successful, Ferroequus says it will improve grain transportation service in Saskatchewan and Alberta by reducing shipping time and offering a better price to producers.
The Ferroequus application for running rights, if granted by the Canada Transportation Agency, would bring the same type of benefits to Prairie farmers as recommended by Supreme Court Justice Willard Estey in his 1998 report on grain handling and transportation.
Judge Estey recommended opening up the Canadian rail system to competition, lowering freight rates and increasing the utilization of the port of Prince Rupert to improve the financial situation of Prairie farmers. A report considering ways to implement Judge Estey’s findings was completed in 1999 and provided to the Minister of Transport. The Canada Transportation Act has been under review since 2000, with new legislation yet to be written,which may be based on recommendations of the CTA Review Panel report, released in July 2001.
Ferroequus is a founding member of the Association of Regional Railways of Canada, which was formed to promote the interests of short line and regional railways. ARRC wants changes to the Canada Transportation Act that will make it easier for railways to use one another’s track. Competitive access to railway infrastructure through expanded running rights is vital to the fulfillment of national transportation policy.
“If this application is successful, it will benefit an important part of the western economy and bring much needed competition to the railway industry,” said Bob Ballantyne, ARRC President. “Commodity producers and short line and regional railways will be waiting for the Agency’s decision with great interest.”
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