EDMONTON -- Canadian Pacific is seeking regulatory approval to construct rail lines to serve planned and existing bitumen upgraders northeast of Edmonton in Alberta's developing "Industrial Heartland."
The railway has made arrangements for 16 miles of right of way that will provide the ability to develop direct rail service to industries locating on either side of the North Saskatchewan River. The "project description," the first step in the regulatory process, will be filed with the Canadian Transportation Agency immediately.
"CP's expansion will provide rail access to new markets for the industries which have made, or will make, the decision to invest in the Industrial Heartland," said CP President and CEO Fred Green. "Our objective will be to build in tandem with the oil sands upgraders and related businesses to create a new network of rail access and strengthen the industry's supply chain competitiveness in world markets."
An additional single train can replace as many as 280 trucks, according to the company -- reducing "traffic congestion, noise and environmental impact in the area."
The railway will immediately invest $15 million in capital for new infrastructure to increase fluidity and distribution and logistics capacity. The railway will first offer expanded transload capabilities for in-bound construction materials, including dimensional shipments.
"Our vision is to create a rail network focused on the movement of by-products created from upgraders, which include sulphur, petroleum coke, asphaltene and various liquids and gases," said Ray Foot, CP's VP of Marketing and Sales, Merchandise. "While the market potential varies based on the timing of the upgraders and facilities, the total rail market will be significant and we will work closely with producers and governments at all levels to pace the right level of capital investment to new business opportunities."
CP is currently embattled in a two-week strike with over 3,000 Teamsters Canada Rail Conference workers.
The railway says the strike has not disrupted train schedules, but drayage truckers hauling containers in and out of intermodal yards across the country have reported delays of two to six hours on a single run.
By Today's Trucking