Released on April 5, 2007
The Saskatchewan Grain Car Corporation (SGCC) is refurbishing approximately 100 of its hopper cars this year, to ensure they remain operational over the next 23 years.
“Farmers do not pay any lease fees to the SGCC for use of its hopper cars when exporting statutory grain to Western Canadian ports,” Minister responsible for the SGCC Eldon Lautermilch said. “Providing the government hopper cars free, saves farmers an estimated $4.50 per tonne, for every tonne shipped in SGCC hopper cars. As a result, it is extremely important that we make sure the hopper cars are maintained for future use.”
In September 2004 the SGCC commissioned a report from AllTranstek L.L.C (AllTranstek), the largest railroad management and consulting firm in North America, to do an inspection of the mechanical condition of the SGCC hopper car fleet. It was recommended by AllTranstek that the SGCC consider repainting the hopper cars in the next five years, due to corrosion. Half way through a car’s lifespan is the optimal time to repaint.
“The government hopper cars are now 26 years old and a recent mechanical assessment of their condition has concluded that repainting the SGCC hopper cars is needed to ensure that the cars are preserved to the end of their 50 year life span,” Lautermilch said.
This is the first time the cars have been repainted since the SGCC hopper car fleet was built in 1981. Work on the $1 million dollar project will be complete by July 31, 2007. The tender for painting the hopper cars has been awarded to GE Railcar Repair Service Company of Regina and the contract for the decals has been awarded to Arco Graphics Inc. of Saskatoon.
“GE was very pleased to be awarded work under this tender and to perform the work here in Saskatchewan,” Plant Manager for GE Railcar Repair Services Regina Rick Campbell said. “The new design of the hopper cars was a challenging and exciting job and we are proud to be part of the overall revitalization of the SGCC hopper car fleet.”
The hopper cars are being painted green. Decals include a golden yellow stripe representing the wheat and canola fields of Saskatchewan, and the province’s floral emblem, the prairie lily. The Saskatchewan! wordmark runs across the length of the car.
“The repainting of the hopper cars will insure that farmers will continue to benefit from the Saskatchewan hopper cars for years to come,” Lautermilch said.
For more information, contact:
Sask. Grain Car Corp.