MONTREAL – Canadian National Railway Co. has awarded a contract for 1,150 high-capacity grain cars to National Steel Car Ltd. in Hamilton.
The railroad operator says the deal brings to $1 billion the amount it plans to invest in Ontario by the end of 2022, including $250 million to build a proposed logistics hub in Milton.
The order for the high-efficiency hopper cars comes amid a year of record grain movement at both CN and rival Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.
The new, closed 55-foot-eight-inch jumbo grain hopper cars, each have 5,431 cubic feet of capacity. CN’s Western Canadian grain fleet is comprised of CN-owned hoppers, leased cars and private customer equipment. The new grain hopper cars will enable the company to move more tonnage of grain per year.
The surging statistics are thanks largely to grain held over from last year following a late harvest as well as insatiable global demand for bread and pasta amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
CN said earlier this month it hauled more than 30 million tonnes of grain in 2019-20, a seven-per-cent increase from the previous year. During the 2019-2020 crop year, over 28.2 MMT of grain moved from Western Canada as well as over 1.1 MMT moved through intermodal containers.
The railway also published its 2020-2021 Grain Plan, announcing that it is prepared to move up to 7,600 bulk and processed hopper cars per week outside of winter, and up to 6,100 per week during winter in the upcoming crop year.