Farmers hope to enter grain transportation business

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REGINA, Sask. — A group of farmers is asking Ottawa to hand over 13,000 government-owned grain hopper cars so they can transport their own grain for a fraction of the cost.

Sinclair Harrison is president of the Farmer Rail Car Coalition, and he recently told local media that serious discussions with the feds will begin this winter. He says while the initial request was for the federal government to provide the coalition with the rail cars for free, there may have to be some money changing hands.

“(An offer) may involve some revenue sharing with the government,” Harrison says.

The coalition has asked the feds to turn over the rail cars for $1 to a non-profit company that would operate the cars. Proponents of the plan suggest farmers would have market power in the grain transportation system. Not surprisingly, the railways have countered by saying the cars should be auctioned off.

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