Tuesday, May 17, 2011


CN investing $3.6 Billion ...


CN train

Canadian National Railway Company is expanding the capacity of key segments of its rail infrastructure to support increased freight traffic and the economy in northern Alberta and Western Canada. 

“CN is experiencing continued growth in Western Canadian freight volumes,” said Keith Creel, CN executive vice-president and chief operating officer. 

“We are making strategic rail investments in Alberta to increase network capacity and improve train velocity along our transcontinental main line between Edmonton and Winnipeg, and to be positioned to handle greater volumes of freight over our line to Fort McMurray, the gateway to Alberta’s oilsands production region.” 

As part of this strategy, CN is investing $12 million to construct 5.6 kilometres of track between two sidings located about 32 kilometres east of Edmonton on the Wainwright Subdivision. 

This will create about 12.5 kilometres of new double track, which will help dispatchers to expedite the meeting of trains and to increase train velocity on one of the highest-density corridors on the CN system. 

“Western Canada is an area where we are experiencing good traffic growth for bulk commodities, such as grain, coal, sulphur, potash, forest products and chemical goods,” said Mark Hallman, CN director of communications and public affairs. 

“Wainwright handles intermodal containers being transported through (import) Vancouver and Prince Rupert, as well as forest products through B.C. (export) and domestic containers. There are also import containers being shipped into the US Midwest to Chicago, Memphis and Central Canada.”

To transport these shipments, CN is investing $12 million to build 11,400 feet of track east of Clover Bar yard on the Wainwright subdivision in the greater Edmonton area to facilitate switching in the terminal.
The additional track will help to expedite arrivals and departures of freight trains at the yard. 

In another strategic investment, CN is investing $3 million to reconfigure tracks at Walker Yard in Edmonton, which will increase the velocity of the terminal in handling greater volumes of freight traffic. 

“We are expanding the rail corridor to Fort McMurray to handle petroleum coke and sulphur going south out of that area,” said Hallman. 

“This will also allow us to handle construction materials, equipment and machinery that are entering this area.” 

The company is investing $10 million on CN’s secondary Lac La Biche Subdivision in northern Alberta to support additional traffic to and from Fort McMurray. 

CN bought the Athabasca Northern Railway Ltd in December 2007 for $25 million to provide direct rail access to the major energy projects in development in the Athabasca, Peace River and Cold Lake oilsands regions.
The deal involved a rehabilitation plan that invested $135 million in rail-line upgrades over three years to improve transit times and service between Boyle, AB and Fort McMurray. 

The line from Boyle, 150 kilometres north of Edmonton, crosses unstable muskeg over 35 per cent of its length, and needed improved rails, ties, bridges and ballast after years of neglect. 

CN’s rehabilitation plan was supported by long-term traffic volume guarantees the company negotiated with shippers Suncor Energy Inc., OPTI Canada Inc., and Nexen Inc. These oilsands producers ship sulphur and petroleum coke to Asia and receive incoming shipments of construction materials, machinery and diluent, which is a petroleum product used to thin out bitumen so it can move through pipelines. 

The upgrade of the 300-kilometre length line increased train speed from an average of 16 kilometres an hour to 40 kilometres per hour and allowed for heavier loads.

The rail link from Boyle to Fort McMurray was constructed during the First World War and received few upgrades until CN began its rehabilitation plan.

The previous owners of the Athabasca Northern Railway planned to sell the line off as salvage. But, when the price of oil began to take off in the early 2000’s, the owners changed their minds and decided to try their hand at running it.

Source is HERE:



And then there's this:
Manitoba commodities on way to China via CentrePort

By: Martin Cash
Winnipeg Free Press - 05/10/2011

CentrePort Canada has announced its first export project that will see Winnipeg’s location and rail assets leveraged to start shipping enhanced volumes of Manitoba agricultural commodities to China.

The project includes partnership and collaboration with both CN and CP railroads as well as China’s largest logistics company and another Chinese company that has developed specialized technology used in container shipping of commodities from South America.

The concept calls for locally grown soybeans, green peas and canola meal to be loaded into containers, taken by rail to B.C. ports and shipped to China, specifically to an inland port in the city of Chongqing.

Diane Gray, CEO of CentrePort said the plan makes sense for all parties concerned.

The railways are pleased because it will mean they will carry loaded containers on the back haul to China (as opposed to empty ones as is often the case), the Chinese market gets a more reliable supply of these agricultural commodities and CentrePort has a debut program that it may eventually build infrastructure around to support.

Gray said shipments are hoped to begin this fall.

In the future she said volumes could be as high as 100 containers per week.



And this. Just a little double-cross here and there, going forward ... 

Foreign Trade Zone threatens Delta farmland

The Tyee - May 17, 2011.


"When you hear about the foreign trade zone, you just start connecting all the dots," said [Vicki] Huntington, [Independent M.L.A.] who represents Delta South. "Delta's going to be used as the province's doormat . . . It's sad when there's a government with such single mindedness about economic values over all other values. It's a danger to the health and welfare of British Columbia."

The provincial government began searching in February for a consultant to study the pros and cons of setting up such a zone, where "tariffs are reduced or eliminated and goods can be stored duty or tax-free," Public Eye website reported.

Huntington and NDP Delta North MLA Guy Gentner both asked about foreign trade zones in question period today.
There's reason to be suspicious, Huntington said in the legislature, "When the former, former Minister of Transportation [Kevin Falcon] takes B.C. Rail to Dubai with him, when Global Container Terminals at Deltaport is owned in Dubai, when Global Container chairs the steering committee advocating free trade zones in B.C., when B.C. Rail has stockpiled more land than it requires for rail expansion and when a land consolidation group is secretly optioning agricultural land adjacent to the B.C. holdings in Delta."

She asked, "Will the minister tell me whether this government is contemplating a free trade zone on the agricultural lands in Delta?"

The current transportation and infrastructure minister, Blair Lekstrom, said no decisions have been made about establishing a foreign trade zone. "There is no determination, locations of any such," he said. "I think that would be far too premature . . . There has been no indication of any piece of property, whether it be in British Columbia or anywhere else that I know of, that has been committed to such an exercise."

Huntington said she believes that the government has secretly moved far along in its planning and it's likely a done deal.

"This isn't about jobs," she said. "It's about greed. It's about flipping land in Delta, and it's about the destruction of the finest agricultural land in Canada ..."

Source is HERE.



Note also the familiar "Knife-in-the-back" flourish ...

BC log exports soar on new Chinese demand


When Port Alberni Mayor Ken McRae sees a freighter leaving his coastal sawmilling town loaded with wood, the pride he once felt has turned to a deep concern for the future of the British Columbia coastal forest industry.
Once those ships were loaded with lumber. Now, half the cargo is logs.

Log exports have exploded in B.C. in the last few months, largely to feed China's voracious appetite for fibre. McRae is not opposed to exports; they have a place in a healthy industry, he said. But he fears China's appetite for B.C. logs is going to cut into manufacturing here.

"China, Korea and Japan are paying more for logs than most of our sawmillers can afford. It's a huge issue that's going to come back to bite us," he said in an interview.

McRae is not the only one who sees a structural change taking place in the global forest industry with huge implications for B.C. China is switching from relying on the vast forests of the Russian Far East, where log exports are now restricted, to the countries of the Pacific Rim, said Gerry Van Leeuwen, vice-president of the research firm International Wood Markets. And B.C., which still accounts for a small piece of China's log import pie, is China's fastest-growing source of fibre in a string of countries around the Pacific. {Snip} ...

The scope of the changes underway hit Van Leeuwen on an April trip to China when he saw 80 small sawmills in the port city of Qingdao. Six months ago, there wasn't a single mill there, he said.

Port cities like Qingdao are all attracting sawmills that previously were in the Russian border region. Each mill consists of a head rig for slicing logs one board at a time and a band saw for making a finished board. Lumber is all cut and stacked by hand, a labour-intensive process that can't match the volume of a B.C. mill. But China has thousands of these mills.

Fuelling China's appetite for Pacific Rim wood, said Van Leeuwen, is an ambitious plan to build 35 million low-cost homes over the next five years to accommodate the inflow of peasants into urban areas. The homes are all concrete, but it takes lumber to make the concrete forms and scaffolding.

{Snip} ...

Here's the price breakdown: A log that sells on the BC domestic market for $50 would typically fetch $85 on the export market. The province levies a $15 fee in lieu of selling it locally, leaving the exporter with a $20 premium, 40 per cent above the domestic price. On the north and central coast, licensees are permitted to export 30 per cent of their annual allowable cut.

{Snip} ...

For B.C. loggers, emerging from a four-year-long depression that cut their sector down to half its size, China is a lifeline, said Dave Lewis, executive director of the B.C. Truck Loggers Association.

For the last two years, only half the allowable annual cut -the amount of timber that can be sustainably harvested -has been logged on the coast.

"Half our timber was sitting out there because the mills couldn't afford to pay what it cost to bring it out. The reality is, there's lots of wood. But there's no U.S. lumber market so [sawmills] can't afford to pay what it costs to bring the wood out."  {Snip} ...

Read the full story HERE


BC Mary comment: There's nobody on guard  for the people of BC. Corporations? yes. Foreign corporations, oh yes. But for some decent people watching over the economic wellbeing of ordinary citizens who do the jobs, pay the taxes, raise the kids, heal the wounded, volunteer, and care about the future ... who's actively safeguarding us?

Thanks for sending this, Rita. I know you're exhausted from the good work you do. But Karma will bring it all back to you someday soon.
Things can't go on like this. 


Yes, you can see the bigger agenda coming into view now.

There were numerous reasons why the dirty deal was done; but the top-tier purpose for handing off BC Rail to the cn globalists was to facilitate their total control over the transport of raw materials to the Red-hot Chinese economy.

And that Enbridge Pipeline Project is still alive and going to come on-line, with the help of the new NRO and a few phone calls to the east making it so. Kitimat will see deep-water oil tankers sailing in-n-out on a daily basis; while David Carr Suzuki will get strangely biz/zy saving the mosquitoes of Quito and offer no opinion whatsoever.

And none will dare call it conspiracy.
Harper and Campbell worked very hard, to force the Enbridge pipeline and the dirty Chinese tankers on the people of BC.

Quite some time ago. I made a remark, there will be worse to come. I was scoffed at. This was one of the "worse to come". I do wish that, this is the only disaster we will face.
"Canadian National Railway Company is expanding the capacity of key segments of its rail infrastructure to support increased freight traffic and the economy in northern Alberta and Western Canada."

I would imagine that CN is developing rail infrastructure that is capable of not being affected by oil spills on the right of way or wall to wall wildfires. Perhaps they can build asbestos tanker cars and bridges (talk to Quebec).

But there is nothing screwy going on with the weather, other than a scam to make Al Gore rich or something. After all, it is perfectly normal for folks on one side of the rockies to be watching their homes wash away in floods while the other side is so dry whole towns are burning up before it is even summer. And then move a step or two east and everything is underwater again. Just another typical spring in HarperLand.....
We always knew Gordo and his gang including Christie, stole our railroad and we are starting to get the big picture, albeit slowly.
Full public inquiry, nothing less, and the return of our railroad to "All" citizens of BC.
The more you learn, the more you get disgusted by the lieberals, cons and multi/corporate business.
Simple things in life like the upgrading of the Shrum Generating station is going to cost more now due to the giveaway of BC Rail to Campbell's important friends. New transformers to be installed cannot be stored anywhere due to the selloff of all railyard lands to many non rail type businesses. Yards in Chetwynd where the original transformers were delivered by rail to be furthered over hwy 29 to the Bennett dam and other places like Fort St. John have been mostly disposed of. With no terminal area or yard space project costs will increase considerably. NOt to mention the apparent failure of the Peace River bridge at Hudson's Hope that will not allow loads such as the new transformers to cross, which ironicly was the main reason for it to originally exist.(lack of manitenance?) It sure seems counter productive unless you are a Campbell/Clark crony.
And there is still no service on the Hythe to Dawson Creek line so I don't think northern BC residents and business owners will be jumping up and down about the big spend by CN on a couple new sidings.

thanks once more for your valuable comment.

Thanks too for your patience.
this gang? this gang is dismantled. Campbell, Basi, Collins, Virk, Bronmann, GONE!
Technical difficulties over the past 24 hours ... incoming comments are being held up, waiting to be posted.

Seems to be a blogger issue.
The demand on freight services is increasing day by day. This is a good thing that they plan it to help the transportation industry.
Such a great article which part of this strategy, CN is investing $12 million to construct 5.6 kilometres of track between two sidings located about 32 kilometres east of Edmonton on the Wainwright Subdivision. This will create about 12.5 kilometres of new double track, which will help dispatchers to expedite the meeting of trains and to increase train velocity on one of the highest-density corridors on the CN system. Thanks for sharing this article.
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