As part of an effort to renew their intermodal fleet, the Canadian Pacific Railway is acquiring 5,500 new double-stack cars, extending sidings in Ontario, making longer trains and adding locomotives in the middle of each train, executives said at an analysts’ meeting in Montreal.
The investment will allow CP to have fewer but longer trains, saving labor and fuel costs, company officials said. Each train will be able to haul 28 per cent more containers, while cutting train starts by 16 per cent.
The first of the new trains will come on track in January, 2004 with the full new fleet in service by 4th quarter. About 18 sidings will be lengthened to 7,500 feet to allow the longer trains to cross.
Placing a locomotive in the middle of a train is a new idea for CP, said spokesman Len Cocolicchio. It will allow the company to run longer trains in colder weather –low temperature causes air leaks in brakes – because the mid-position locomotives offer additional air supply to brakes.
Cocolicchio said the company expects that the additional cars will produce a more homogenous fleet, making handling efficient enough to reduce the overall fleet to 1,300 cars once the new fleet is in place. The new cars will be leased from TTX Company, which is owned by North America’s major railroads