CN Rail Expansion Projects

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Posted by ADRIAN BALLAM on Sunday, February 04, 2018 8:01 PM

I will give you that. Those are interesting points. I have a feeling that the siding and 12 miles of double-track will be added to the Edson Subvision, not Albreda or Clearwater. I think perhaps you are right then in what you had said above, but I don't believe these 12 miles will be allocated here at this time. I wish there was some PDF file online outling the project.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Monday, February 05, 2018 8:07 PM

ADRIAN BALLAM

The two pipelines go totally different directions. Keystone goes directly south to the US while Energy East goes to the Atlantic Coast of Canada. How does the Keystone decision have an impact of oil moving by rail to the Atlantic Coast? Also, I just read that CN is planning to move crude oil this summer after they have completed a number of capacity projects: http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2018/01/24-canadian-national-to-invest-record-amount-to-handle-current-anticipated-traffic-growth?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=News0_TRN_180129_000000_Final&utm_content=&spMailingID=32824061&spUserID=MTE2ODA0MTUwMTc2S0&spJobID=1203645665&spReportId=MTIwMzY0NTY2NQS2. 

I know there is opposition to the oil and pipelines in Quebec, but I have feeling that it is not to the extent of a majority of citizens. I found an article that supports your statement, but the problem with this poll is it asked 1,401 people: http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/poll-shows-few-quebecers-support-energy-east-pipeline. There are 7.2 million people in the province. These types of polls are usually way off what the general public thinks as they fall into the same category as polls in guessing the outcome of elections. I don't believe New Brunswick would be against the pipeline either.

 

TransCanada proposed the Energy East project when Keystone XL started to bog down.  When Keystone's prospects opened up again, Energy East was cancelled.  What is your question?  TransCanada is in the business of transporting oil and gas.  Many of the other Keystone segments were already constructed, and the XL segment was a key shortcut.  Texas refineries use heavy oil.  I don't know that eastern Canada refineries are set up to take that much at present.  Additionally, new shale oil & gas fields in Alberta, may make the gas pipeline that the Energy East project, was to convert to oil, more valuable as a gas line. 

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Posted by traisessive1 on Saturday, February 10, 2018 12:12 AM

Completing the Cana - Bangor section is one of the Winnipeg - Edmonton projects for this year. 

10000 feet and no dynamics? Today is going to be a good day ... 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, February 10, 2018 12:27 AM

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by SD70Dude on Sunday, February 11, 2018 2:23 AM

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by ADRIAN BALLAM on Saturday, February 24, 2018 5:20 PM

Ahhh...so it is going to be this leg of the Edson Subdivision. I had feeling the entire amount of 12 miles would be allocated to the subdivision of the Vancouver-Edmonton corridor. A bit surprised that they are now going to double-track through the residential area, since at one crossing, there is a daycare centre. Thanks for the reference.

Tags: Spruce Grove
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Posted by ADRIAN BALLAM on Saturday, February 24, 2018 5:21 PM

Thank you. Do you happen to have a reference to this expansion? It certainly makes sense.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, February 24, 2018 5:24 PM

Is 'twinning the railway' actually a Canadian expression for double-tracking?

I don't recall ever seeing it before, and she uses it many times in the article.

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Posted by ADRIAN BALLAM on Saturday, February 24, 2018 5:32 PM

"Twinning" is a term I would not normally use for railroads. For me, this relates to highways, such as "twinning a bridge" (adding another lane).

Normally double-tracking is the what we use for trains.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, February 24, 2018 6:33 PM

"Twinning" is an example of Mudchicken's highway bubbas attempting to speak railroad-ese. 

CN uses the term "double track".

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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, February 24, 2018 6:45 PM

ADRIAN BALLAM

Ahhh...so it is going to be this leg of the Edson Subdivision. I had feeling the entire amount of 12 miles would be allocated to the subdivision of the Vancouver-Edmonton corridor. A bit surprised that they are now going to double-track through the residential area, since at one crossing, there is a daycare centre. Thanks for the reference.

There is enough space for a second track on the existing ROW through Stony Plain without disturbing any houses.  Additionally, the area between 48 and 50 Streets is where the old grain elevator used to be and its spur is still there, currently it is used to store track maintenance equipment.  This can be seen on Google Earth.

I strongly suspect (but cannot confirm yet) that the second track will be added on the south side of the current main, at both Carvel and Spruce Grove the turnout diverges to the south. 

The residential area is not a concern; it is not blocking the ROW and the railroad was there first, not the houses.  If CN were to double track only from Carvel to Stony Plain there would still be a single track choke point, making the project of little to no benefit. 

The general public seems to believe that double track will mean double the number of trains.  This is not the case, the same number of trains will be run, only more efficiently. 

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Saturday, February 24, 2018 6:57 PM

How to participate in an interesting mind game.  Take the tracks and equipment taken out of service and the savings acquired including track, switches, maintenance, salvage etc.  Then the costs of restoring those same locations.  wonder how that looks on the balance sheets ?

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, February 24, 2018 7:20 PM

In the US, the standard distance between double tracks is now more than the old minimum distance between older double tracks.  Relaying a second track usually means the old grade is not usable.  Is that also the situation in Canada?

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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, February 24, 2018 7:32 PM

In the case in question the "old" double track would have been laid in the 1980s, and ripped up in the early 2000s (thanks Hunter).  So it would have already conformed to modern standards. 

Unfortunately none of the ripped up sections are being rebuilt, all the current double tracking plans are for sections that have always been single track.

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by ADRIAN BALLAM on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 9:09 PM

What's interesting is this 12 mile section of single-track is the longest section of single track currently on the Edson Sub. Now it will be no more due to this double-track project. Also with connecting the double-track segments at Carvel and Spruce Grove, there will be over 40 miles of non-stop double-track and nearly half of the Edson Sub will be double-tracked after the completion of this project.

Also, from the article, CN is planning to add another siding between Vancouver and Edmonton. I assume that is on the Edson Sub as well and that would then put the line at more than 50% double-tracked. Great.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, March 31, 2018 9:41 PM

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by ADRIAN BALLAM on Sunday, April 01, 2018 10:16 PM

I saw that article and don't blame the townspeople for being concerned. It goes through a pretty populated residential area and next to one the of the crossings, is a daycare. However, it is CN's property and the trains do travel through there at a fast rate of speed. It says in the article that trains stop on the crossings. That doesn't strike me as an area where that occurs.

Does that happen often in the area?

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Posted by kgbw49 on Sunday, April 01, 2018 10:32 PM

Is the average train density 32 trains per day as mentioned in the article or was that an estimate of one of the concerned citizens?

Having been to Ames, IA where UP rolls 50 or so trains through town at grade on double track, it has not been disruptive.

 

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Posted by ADRIAN BALLAM on Sunday, April 01, 2018 11:03 PM

I believe there are over 40 trains a day, of which 30 are scheduled (manifest and intermodal) and the rest are bulk commodities, including grain, potash, sand, and sulphur. Coal runs on the line west of Edson, which increases the number by 2-4 daily. That being said, numbers are quite high right now due to CN's major service issues and them having to play catch up with their customers. There are running a lot of grain trains to the west coast to accomodate farmers' needs.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, April 02, 2018 7:39 AM

Prsons here talk about the blocked siding that trains can block all three road crossings .  Tell them that if CSX would extend the siding either north or south blocked crossings would dimish but not end for those times CSX parks 2 trains on siding.

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Posted by ADRIAN BALLAM on Monday, April 02, 2018 5:12 PM

I am not sure what you are referring to. Could you please clarify? Also, how does CSXT factor into this discussion?

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Posted by SD70Dude on Monday, April 02, 2018 5:40 PM

30-40 trains a day sounds right to me.

As it is currently single track trains do not normally stop in the Stony Plain-Spruce Grove area.  That will not change with double tracking as all the crossings will still be there.

Of course trains occasionally break down and have to stop.  But this is the case everywhere, and not a significant concern here. 

The firefighters are probably counting every single time they had to wait at a crossing, even for fast-moving trains. 

I am sure the daycare staff and parents know about the nearby railroad.  I personally would be more concerned about the traffic on 50 St as a threat to the kids. 

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by ADRIAN BALLAM on Monday, April 16, 2018 8:44 PM

There was an article last week from the News Wire that compared CN's current troubles to that of BNSF in 2013 and 2014 when they faced a boom of commodities. This article also address briefly addresses siding extensions, including two that are known (the Spruce Grove to Carvel 12 mile segment and double-track section going southeast from Melville). They also surprisingly talk about a siding extension north of Kamloops, which sounds like it will be on the Clearwater Sub. Sadly, they don't specify other sidings extensions in BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan: http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2018/04/12-cns-capacity-problems-echo-bnsfs-woes-of-2013-14?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=News0_TRN_180416_000000_Final&utm_content=&spMailingID=33901974&spUserID=MTE2ODA0MTUwMTc2S0&spJobID=1261918967&spReportId=MTI2MTkxODk2NwS2.

There is actually a lot of information in the article. I have to go through more of it for further comment.

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Posted by Gotrans on Tuesday, May 08, 2018 5:36 AM
Does anyone know what construction projects have actually been started yet?
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Posted by ADRIAN BALLAM on Tuesday, May 08, 2018 10:50 PM

I know of one in Hawthorne, WI as per this photo from railpictures.net: http://railpictures.net/photo/655812/.

I also believe the double-tracking east of Melville, SK is on the verge of commencing, but I don't for sure. I will see if I can find some more articles.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, May 08, 2018 11:08 PM

Work began in mid-April on the Spruce Grove-Carvel, AB double track segment.  Brush clearing has been completed and grading has started.

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Posted by williamsb on Wednesday, May 09, 2018 12:45 PM

I asked this question a couple of days ago on a couple on Canadian lists and got quite a few replies.

There are confirmed reports that Waldron to Cana (10 miles) on the Rivers sub is currently being done. When this is done they are supposed to do from Bailey (end of 2 trks) to Fenwood, west of Melville on the Watrous sub.

From end of 2 Trks at Welby,SK to Spy Hill on the Rivers sub. 8 miles.

Rumours of Rivers to Stenberg. (started in the 1980's)

Spruce Grove to Carvel is being done now as reported.

Artland to Chauvin and Wainwright to Fabyan on the Wainwright sub rumoured to being done.

I think that is most of them.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Thursday, May 10, 2018 9:34 PM

Coming south out of Pokegama Yard in WI, where CN makes the climb out of the Duluth basin to Chicago, they have double track going in from just after the Amnicon River bridge to the siding at Gun Club Road at Hawthorn, WI. As of yesterday the right of way was graded and most of the rail and ties were down. There are several locations where one crossing gate has yet to be moved out of the way of the new track. The new track is laid to the east of the existing main, so should be the northbound (downhill) track while the existing main becomes the southbound (uphill) track. CN puts on quite a show in the Duluth area going both ways. The housing industry must be doing okay. I saw a solid train of empty centerbeams heading north to Canada for more loads, as well as a doublestack and two manifests in the space of an hour, as well as a UP manifest heading south on trackage rights.

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Posted by ADRIAN BALLAM on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 9:47 PM

Thank you all for your insight. Here's another article discussing in somewhat better detail the new sidings and siding extensions on the various corridors in Western Canada along with new purchases: http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2018/05/17-operations-improve-on-canadian-national-as-traffic-growth-resumes?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=News0_TRN_180521_000000_%20Sub&utm_content=&spMailingID=34378674&spUserID=MTE2ODA0MTUwMTc2S0&spJobID=1282430516&spReportId=MTI4MjQzMDUxNgS2.

In looking at this a previous article posted, it mentioned that a siding north of Kamloops was going to be expanded to 12,000, so I will assume it is in BC. Since I know the Clearwater and Albreda Subdivisions quite well, two that I can probably eliminate due to constraints with cliffs along the North Thompson River are Boulder and Exlou, both on the Clearwater Sub. That leaves the following sidings under 12,000 feet:

  • Chinook Cove-Clearwater Sub
  • Vavenby-Clearwater Sub (makes sense if this one was expanded since it adjacent to a saw mill)
  • McMurphy-Clearwater Sub
  • Thunder River-Albreda Sub
  • Lempriere-Albreda Sub
  • Albreda-Albreda Sub

For ones along the Prince Rupert Corridor, of which three are subject to siding extensions, this could be any of the following 17 (going from east to west):

  • Loos (Fraser Sub)
  • Bend (Fraser Sub)
  • Dewey (Fraser Sub)
  • Wolverine (Fraser Sub)
  • Shelley (Fraser Sub)
  • Miworth (Nechako Sub)
  • Nichol (Nechako Sub)
  • McCall (Nechako Sub)
  • Encombe (Nechako Sub)
  • Watson (Telkwa Sub)
  • Palling (Telkwa Sub)
  • Topley (Telkwa Sub)
  • Lucas (Telkwa Sub)
  • Huntington (Telkwa Sub)
  • Evelyn (Bulkley Sub)
  • Kwinitsa (Skeena Sub)
  • Watson Island (Skeena Sub)

Never really went into this much research on the sidings less 12,000 feet on the Prince Rupert, but 17 is quite a few to be so short CN's huge trains. Also, this couldn't come at a better time with a new ocean carrier calling into Prince Rupert and expected many more containers for trains (also mentioned in article).

I think it is interesting how CN is ordering many new boxcars and one comment on the article was surprised by CN doing this. Many of CN's mixed freights contain tons of boxcars all over their systems. I am glad as I love boxcars as part of rolling stock. UP also uses boxcars quite extensively as well. Less so for BNSF and CP.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 11:51 PM

Here is a CN merchandise train with some healthy cuts of boxcars. It is a long one.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4PYGRu-hXxA

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