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Transport Canada wants freight rail data rules 

Transport Canada is proposing a regulation that would make changes to collection of freight rail traffic and service data permanent. The Canadian agency says the reporting requirements would provide rail users and the public with more relevant and precise information relating to rail service and performance.  The proposed permanent regulation seeks to adjust waybill reporting requirements to ensure that the data meets its primary purpose of supporting long-haul interswitching (LHI), Transport Canada said.

But the regulation also removes this requirement from carriers not likely to be subject to LHI orders.  LHI is a type of interswitching procedure enabling shippers to access another railway even though that other railway doesn’t directly serve the shipper. Interswitching is like reciprocal switching in the U.S.

LHI means that railcars can be interswitched if the origin or destination of the traffic is within a 30-kilometer radius of an interchange. Grain shippers are the audience that LHI targets. The proposed regulation also details new traffic reporting requirements for smaller Class I rail carriers so that Transport Canada has access to information about their Canadian operations. 

The proposed regulation is available here. The Transportation Modernization Act of 2018 had introduced new data reporting requirements for six Class I railroads: CN (NYSE: CNI), Canadian Pacific (NYSE: CP), BNSF (NYSE: BRK.B), Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP), Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC), and CSX (NASDAQ: CSX). The reporting requirements would be temporary until Transport Canada sets to establish permanent regulations.

“Having access to more detailed service and performance information for Canada’s rail sector would contribute to even more productive exchanges among supply chain members, as they work to move Canadian goods in support of Canada’s future economic success,” Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra said in a release.  Subscribe to FreightWaves’ e-newsletters and get the latest insights on freight right in your inbox. Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Joanna Marsh.

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