Canada Expected to Introduce Rail Service Legislation Tuesday

The Canada is expected Tuesday morning to introduce legislation relating to a government report that highlighted shortfalls in freight railroad service.

It’s not clear what the amendment to the Canada’s Transportation Act entails. The Freight Rail Service Review, released in 2011, found two-thirds of surveyed shippers lost money because of poor service.  Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railway have since made improvements, but some shippers argue the changes haven't gone far enough.

The Coalition of Rail Shippers, a coalition of 17 shippers associations, wants the government to set a minimum level stand of services and to provide arbitration when mediations between carriers and shippers fail. The rail industry contends such a measure could push them into unfair contracts that would disrupt their networks, resulting in poorer overall service. The legislation would likely affect bulk shippers, not intermodal customers. 

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