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Released on July 31, 2001

A new farmer-owned 'state of the art' grain car loading business is being

opened near Eston.

The innovative grain gathering business will adopt the 'just in time

delivery' principle and combine it with the most modern information

technology available for computer-based grain blending.

West Central Road and Rail Ltd (WCRR) is able to pass savings on to farmers

by utilizing a large number of producer cars and matching grain shipped

with customer's orders. The Province of Saskatchewan, through the

Saskatchewan Grain Car Corporation (SGRC), has invested $400,000 toward the

$1.3 million raised by WCRR to get the company started.

Premier Lorne Calvert and Grain Car Corporation Chair Pat Atkinson,

together with representatives of West Central Road and Rail Ltd.,

officially announced the introduction of this project.

"The government of Saskatchewan is committed to finding ways for farmers to

increase their revenues," Premier Calvert said. "This modernization of the

grain handling and transportation system should do just that."

The pilot project was designed to develop solutions that promote a

competitive customer-oriented system in several areas, including: on-farm

storage of grain, minimal track side facility usage, direct loading to rail

cars, and identity-preservation of computer-based blended grain to optimize

value (see attached backgrounder for more detailed information.)

West Central Road and Rail was formed in April, 1997 to retain rail and

grain handling service in their area. WCRR participated in the 'Grain

Logistics Pilot Project' developed in 1999, and sponsored by the Government

of Saskatchewan, federal government, and the Canadian Wheat Board, to more

accurately define its business in grain logistics.

"This progressive, farm-controlled grain-handling system has the potential

to return substantial savings to producers, help support local communities,

and significantly reduce road damage by maintaining grain transportation by

rail," Saskatchewan Grain Car Corporation Chair Pat Atkinson said.

"WCRR's objective is to create a lower cost grain gathering system that

puts more money into the hands of farmers and at the same time recognizes

the interests of our local communities," West Central Road and Rail

President Rob Lobdell said.

The grain gathering endeavour at Eston is the first in a series of

regionally-owned producer car loading facilities WCRR will develop in the

west central area.


For more information, contact:

Bernie Churko, General Manager Rob Lobdell, President

Saskatchewan Grain Car Corporation West Central Road and Rail

Phone: (306) 787-4866 Phone: (306) 962-4528

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