EDMONTON, AB: On Tuesday, Wildrose Shadow Transportation Minister Glenn van Dijken gave a statement on a looming 72 per cent decrease in railway capacity that will severely hurt farmers’ ability to get their grain to market.
There are currently 21,000 hopper cars on the track. CN and CP railway own 6,000 hopper cars that are forecast to reach the end of their useful life by 2020. Government owns 9,000 hopper cars, meanwhile, that are forecast to reach the end of their useful life between 2022 and 2027. This amounts to a looming 72 per cent decline in railway capacity.
“As a farmer, I know the frustrations farmers are facing around transporting their grain, but this looming crisis could reduce our rail capacity by 72 per cent, and we simply can’t let that happen,” van Dijken said. “It’s not enough for the NDP and Liberals to voice their support for agriculture. Farmers need to see actual steps being taken to maintain rail capacity and keep the hopper cars on the tracks. We need to nip this in the bud now.”
You can read van Dijken’s statement here.