RailState, the rail industry’s only provider of real-time rail network visibility, independently tracks all freight rail movements across Canada in real-time.
Total train volume westbound to the Port of Vancouver increased 14.1% in September compared to August. The biggest gain came from Grain trains, which jumped 65.2% from 46 trains in August to 76 trains in September. This growth coincides with the beginning of the Canadian grain harvest. We expect the volume of grain trains to remain high for the coming months, and we will publish a separate report on volumes of grain during the grain harvest.
We did not see a significant amount of “catch-up” volume after the dockworkers strike in July, and some commodities are remain lower, for example potash shipments for August and September were below the January to June average.
The total carload traffic into the Port of Vancouver was evenly divided between CN and CPKC, with CPKC moving just over 1500 carloads more than CN in September.
The Port of Prince Rupert also saw an increase in total train volume in September. As was seen at the Port of Vancouver, the increase in train volume is completely accounted for by a growth in volume of Grain trains. Grain volume more than doubled, growing from 13 trains in August to 27 in September.
Train volume to Halifax fell 17.1% in September, accounting for a decrease of 7 trains compared to August. One additional Automotive train (27) moved in September.
Train volume to the Port of Sydney remained much lower than volumes seen early in the year and there were 4 more Manifest trains than in August.
Train volume to Thunder Bay increased significantly in September, growing 48.9% compared to August. Grain moving for export accounted for all of the growth. Grain train volume rose 118% in September.
CPKC moves significantly more volume through Thunder Bay than CN. In September, CPKC moved twice as many carloads into Thunder Bay than CN.