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Minister: Canada to finalize oil tank car standards by April's end
The Canadian government would like to finalize specifications for a new version of the tank cars used to transport crude oil by rail by the end of this month, Canadian Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said.
In the wake of several high-profile accidents involving trains carrying crude oil, Canada and the United States are drafting tougher standards that will see see the vast majority of tank cars currently in use retrofitted or replaced.
Transport Canada last month released implementation deadlines that would keep some cars in service for another decade until 2025, even though accident investigators have said they perform poorly in crashes.
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Transport Canada's illegal drone fines pile up in Quebec
Quebecers like to fly drones illegally, it seems.
Since January 2014, all 12 of the fines Transport Canada has handed out for illegal drone-flying have been in Quebec — and with a maximum of $25,000, the fines can get pretty steep.
On top of that, Quebec is also home to 36 of the 69 drone-related accidents that were investigated by Transport Canada last year, although most of them were minor.
DP World to buy British Columbia container terminal for $580 million
Bloomberg News via The Globe and Mail
DP World Ltd., the Dubai government-owned ports operator, agreed to buy a container terminal on Canada's west coast for $580-million (Canadian) as it seeks to benefit from trade between Asia and North America.
DP World will acquire Maher Terminal LLC's Fairview Container Terminal in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, from Deutsche Bank AG, it said in an e-mailed statement. The acquisition of Fairview, which has a current capacity of 850,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units, is subject to regulatory approval and expected to close in the second-half of the year.
Secretary Foxx sends long-term transportation bill to Congress
The GROW AMERICA Act reflects President Barack Obama's vision for a six-year, $478-billion transportation reauthorization bill that invests in modernizing America's infrastructure. As lawmakers try to fund transportation beyond May 31, GROW AMERICA provides members of the House and Senate with the option of increasing investment in surface transportation by 45 percent and supporting millions of jobs repairing and modernizing roads, bridges, railroads and transit systems in urban, suburban and rural communities.
Reader Sound-Off: Are elevated tracks a viable option to avoiding collisions?
By Ryan Clark
This is an installment in an ongoing series titled "Reader Sound-Off" that will focus attention and conversation on readers' and NARP members' opinions on important rail and transportation issues. Railroad collisions between trains and vehicles that have stalled in their paths are tragically common. While it can be the popular knee-jerk reaction to consequently limit train use or the reach of the country's train systems, perhaps there are other options.
Canada's grain supply chain returning to normal
Government of Canada
Transport Minister Lisa Raitt and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz today announced that the Government of Canada will not renew its requirement for Canadian National Railway Company and Canadian Pacific Railway Company to transport minimum volumes of grain by rail after the current Order in Council expires on March 28, 2015.
A year ago, the government took the unprecedented step of mandating volume requirements for moving grain by rail to protect Canada's farmers and maintain its reputation as a reliable grain shipper.
Saskatchewan program to help fund track upgrades for short lines
The Shortline Railway Sustainability Program will provide $900,000 in grants (in Canadian dollars) to 13 Saskatchewan short lines to make rail infrastructure improvements, Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure announced.
The grants are matched by each short line, which means at least $1.8 million will be invested in the short lines' track projects this year, ministry officials said in a press release.
"Short lines provide an efficient connection to mainline rail which benefits the rural economy," said Nancy Heppner, minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Grain Car Corp.
Too fast for your tires?
Is there a speed limit for truck tires? Are truckers wantonly violating those limits and putting the safety of the motoring public at risk? If you read a recent Associated Press story titled "Big Rigs Often Go Faster than Tires Can Handle," you might come to that conclusion. And while there is some truth to the story, it underplays a critical point related to truck speeds and tires: inflation pressure.
The story, published at the end of March, was an AP wire story, so it probably ran in dozens of local newspapers.
Cummins names 2 new Canadian presidents
Cummins has introduced a pair of new Canadian presidents.
Charles Masters took over the post as president of Cummins Western Canada and will be relocating to Vancouver from the U.S. He most recently served as executive director, sales, for Cummins Turbo Technologies.
Masters has been with Cummins since 2003, starting his career there with Cummins Filtration. Prior to joining Cummins, Masters worked for Kimberly-Clark in Canada and he is a Canadian citizen.
Freight outlook good despite some weaknesses
While some may complain that truck freight levels haven't taken off like a rocket since the end of the Great Recession, the fact is they have posted solid improvements, according to Jonathan Starks of the freight forecasting firm FTR.
Starks was speaking Tuesday during the company's "Virtual Conference" webinar, in which he discussed where freight levels have been, where they are headed, and the economic factors behind them.
Trucking industry voices opinion on potential changes to justice system
There was much discussion at the OTA offices today concerning the Ontario's Ministry of the Attorney General's recent discussion paper that focuses on the potential introduction of an online administrative monetary penalty system.
A number of trucking fleets and representatives from the legal community gathered at the OTA offices to voice their opinions on the paper, that suggests replacing aspects of the existing court system that deals with provincial offences and municipal infractions to an online system.
Timing of Lunar New Year, US port congestion boosts February air freight
The International Air Transport Association released February data for global air freight markets showing a sharp increase in year-on-year air freight volumes. Growth measured by freight tonne kilometers was up 11.7 percent in February, compared to February 2014. Capacity grew 7.4 percent.
Much of the impressive February result is due to the timing of the Lunar New Year activities.
Turkish Cargo expands yet again
Air Cargo World
Along with its robust passenger growth, Turkish Airlines is rapidly growing its cargo network and operations. Most recently, its Turkish Cargo division added freighter service to Lahore, Pakistan and Bahrain.
The new weekly freighter service to Lahore is Turkish Cargo's 17th dedicated airfreight route in the Far East, while the Bahrain route represents its eighth dedicated freighter service in the Middle East.
Canada Pension Board buys $2.3B stake in Associated British Ports
The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and a British partner will pay about $2.29 billion to buy at least 30 percent ownership in a company that owns and operates 21 ports in England, Scotland and Wales.
The Canada pension board and Hermes Infrastructure are purchasing their initial stake in Associated British Ports from GS Infrastructure Partners and Infracapital. They could potentially buy an additional 3.33 per cent, which would make them one-third owners of ABP.
As St. Lawrence Seaway reopens, expect strong cargo volumes
The Globe and Mail
The CWB Marquis is named for an old variety of wheat and owned by a grain company, but the ship will be laden with 29,000 tonnes of iron ore when it makes its first voyage through the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway.
The red-and-blue hulled ship, one of two new vessels recently bought by the former Canadian Wheat Board, was to be the first ship on the Seaway in 2015, a start delayed one week by ice throughout the 3,700-kilometre trade route that links North America's industrial and agricultural core with markets in Europe and Africa.
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