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Erik's Rail News

Canadian Railways Court Union Carbide

Union Carbide plans to build a polyethylene plant in Alberta, on the Canadian Prairie. Both major Canadian railways have or will have track to the factory

Just before Christmas, the Canadian Pacific Railway announced they had applied to the Canadian Transportation Agency for permission to build a 12,6 km long rail line to the planned Union Carbide plant, from Lacombe (100 km south of Edmonton, see map) to Prentiss. The site of the plant already has a track to the privatized Canadian National Railway, which has connections to the US, and to Canadian ports by the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

The announcement is especially encouraging to rail fans as CP Rail has been issuing a flurry of discontinuance notices since a 1996 law made it easier to get rid of unprofitable track. The plans for some new track shows that CP really is adjusting to market demand, not just downsizing.

CP Rail, with their own tracks from Vancouver to New York, obviously thinks they can serve Union Carbide better than CN. Of course, which railway is best is an academic question since it looks like they will keep each other on their toes. To the benefit of rail service in Canada.

Read the press release, visit Canadian National and the Canadian Transportation Agency.