CWB accuses railways of huge grain losses
Source: CJOB's Robert Holland
Published: June 11, 2007

The Canadian Wheat Board has accused the railways of losing four million dollars worth of grain over the past two years because of leakage from poorly maintained railcars and a sharp increase in wrecked cars from derailments.

Farmer elected CWB director Ian McCreary made the accusations Friday before a Transport Canada panel in Winnipeg, reviewing the Railway Safety Act.

McCreary says for the safety and economic security of Western Canadian farmers the ACT needs to be strengthened and the railways made more accountable for the operation of their lines.

He told the panel, during the past two years, the CWB recorded losses of 6,100 tonnes of wheat, durum and barley worth over one and a half million dollars-- leaking from the bottom gates of railcars in transit or waiting to be unloaded. He says at one grain terminal in Vancouver a tonne of grain is lost through spillage on its sidings every week.
And, He says derailments in the past two years have resulted in the loss of 7,600 tonnes of grain valued at 2.4 million dollars..

The CWB's presentation also noted concerns with track monitoring and inspection, labour-related service disruptions and investment in new and renewed track and equipment.