CANADIAN Pacific Railway announced on November 20 a major upgrading of its intermodal services between Montréal, Chicago, and Vancouver. A new fleet of 5500 double-stack wagons and lengthening of 18 passing loops in northern Ontario will allow CPR to carry 28% more containers on 16% fewer trains.

Addition of remote-controlled mid-train locos to spread traction and braking will enable CPR to operate trains up to 2926m long westbound and 2195m eastbound, compared to the current limit of 1829m.

The wagons will be leased from TTX, and will include 3900 units able to carry 53ft containers and 1600 shorter vehicles to carry 40ft boxes. Delivery is due to begin this month and will be completed by the fourth quarter of 2004. The new vehicles will give CPR more a standardised, and thus more efficient, fleet while allowing a net reduction of 1300units.