Released on November 9, 2010
The Saskatchewan Grain Car Corporation (SGCC) will now give priority to leasing its hopper cars to Saskatchewan Shortline railways.
Highways and Infrastructure Minister and Minister responsible for the SGCC Jim Reiter and Agriculture Minister and Vice Chair of the SGCC Bob Bjornerud made the announcement today at the SARM Midterm Convention in Saskatoon.
"Our government is committed to the Saskatchewan shortline industry and doing what is possible to ensure it is successful," Reiter said. "By leasing provincial hopper cars directly to Saskatchewan shortlines, the benefits of provincial ownership of the cars go directly to producers and shortline railways in Saskatchewan."
The SGCC has a fleet of approximately 900 covered grain hopper cars that have historically been leased to Canadian National Railway (CN) and Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) to transport western grains. In recent years, the railways have been able to increase rail car turnaround times and as a result, have reduced the number of rail cars required for grain movement. This has created the opportunity for the SGCC to offer its hopper cars to shortline railways. CN and CPR will still have the opportunity to lease excess rail cars not used by the shortline railways.
The SGCC hopper cars will be made available to Saskatchewan shortlines on a first come, first served basis at commercial rates.
"We are extremely pleased with the government's decision to make the SGCC hopper cars available to the Saskatchewan shortline industry," Saskatchewan Shortline Railway Association President Roger Gadd said. "A secure supply of good quality hopper cars is critical for some of our members to take advantage of new business opportunities and better serve the needs of shippers."
"Grain transportation is an important issue for our members and an increasing number of producers across the province are relying on shortline railways to transport their grain," SARM President David Marit said. "We appreciate the provincial government making these hopper cars available to shortlines."
For more information, contact:
Shortline Railway Association