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BNSF, Canadian Pacific ordered to disclose plans to speed grain shipments

Warren Buffett’s BNSF Railway (BRK.A, BRK.B) and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) face a June 27 deadline to say how they will clear a backlog of grain shipments that has frustrated farmers for months.

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board is ordering the railroads to outline by then how they will deal with service disruptions, including a timeline for doing so, and to subsequently provide weekly updates about their progress.

This year's unusually cold winter slowed rail networks in the U.S. and Canada, forcing railroads to run shorter trains and aggravating congestion on a system already dealing with increased shipments of crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken Shale region.

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Comments (5)
  • bibol11
    , contributor
    Comments (187) | Send Message
    The government acts like this is new. They have that problem most years. The railroads at least the BNSF. Allows it track you deteriorate until they have to fix it. For instance road crossings are allowed to deteriorate until it thinks the train might derail. In the past they had enough people to fix the crossing. It has eliminated most of the people from the sections. That could fix it in the past.
    24 Jun 2014, 03:18 PM Reply Like
  • dgotshalk
    , contributor
    Comments (46) | Send Message
    Who decided that rail shipments of fuel is better than pipelines?
    Creating more pipelines starting with the Keystone and then
    creating tax incentives for the railroads to refurbish gangbusters
    might be the two obvious answers instead of a blame game that
    delegitimizes private industry?
    What is the Federal Government going to do to help instead of hinder the situation?
    Maybe the Sierra Club can figure it out? although they will probably say the country does not need more fuel just food?
    Wish they could say that to Al Quaeda in the Middle East?
    24 Jun 2014, 05:49 PM Reply Like
  • WayneARS
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
    Possibly a trucker ( Rose ) was not the best hire.


    The trucking industry has the same problems, which don't seem solvable-by truckers.
    25 Jun 2014, 12:26 AM Reply Like
  • Mazzuchelli
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    Railroads, unlike truck, barges, etc., handle the majority of their infrastructure repairs on their own dime, not the taxpayers'. Infrastructure maintenance and upgrades for the major carriers cost billions annually. When opportunities of the scale of frac'ing surface, it's a massive undertaking to reposition for that traffic. Feeder lines such as those in and around the Dakotas probably required significant upgrade to handle heavier per car tonnage. Additionally, while carriers can generally maintain or upgrade track without interference from local authorities, anytime a wetland or stream/river is involved, the permitting can take years to clear.
    25 Jun 2014, 10:43 AM Reply Like
  • Jalb
    , contributor
    Comments (117) | Send Message
    I thought that Canadian Pacific was a Canadian company operating railways in Canada. How wrong can I be?
    The US Surface Transportation Board dictates that it must report to it how it will ship grain from Winnipeg to Quebec.
    Just as well that I am not a director of Canadian Pacific.
    29 Jun 2014, 06:01 PM Reply Like
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