Friday, December 30, 2016

New Grain Hopper Cars for Canadian Railways

According to a report in the December 29 Western Producer, National Steel Car has been selected to provide the new grain hoppers that will replace Canada’s aging cylindrical hopper fleet.

The new cars are 55 feet, eight inches long, have a volume of 5,431 cubic feet, and weigh 60,000 pounds.

Current hopper cars are 60 feet long and have a volume of 4,550 cubic feet. They weigh 62,000 pounds.

The new cars are able to carry 20 percent more grain, or ten tonnes, than the older cars.

Also, because they are shorter, there can be more cars on each train.

Today there are 22,400 of the older cylindrical grain hoppers in service. Of that total, 8,400 are owned by the Canadian government and 3,100 by the governments of Saskatchewan and Alberta. The rest are former Canadian Wheat Board cars.

All the cars will reach the end of their service lives between 2022 and 2027.

In other grain hopper car news, CPR president Keith Creel says that current unit grain hopper train length will be increased from 112 cars to 134 cars.

Read more about the new cars at the NSC website.


  1. I guess the only downside is that they can't be used on lighter rail. I know the article mentions 226,000 lb load limit but I'm pretty sure they mean 286,000 lb.

  2. I just have to read closer. The load is 226,000 lbs plus the tare/empty weight of 60,000 lbs means a total of 286,000 lbs. Definitely not for light branch line rail!

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