Have you ever sat in your vehicle at a train crossing and wondered what was in the rail cars passing by? Where they came from? Where they were going? Rail shipments can be interesting to find out about as rail transportation is still a major cog in the global transportation wheel. For example, last year National Steel Car won the contract to produce 500 rail cars for K&S Potash Canada GP. Five hundred rail cars is a substantial amount, and the product that K&S makes is an important haul.
Potash is a mined mineral that ends up, 95% of the time, as a fertilizer meant to enrich soils that are potassium deficient. It is hard to grow anything in soils that have low potassium levels, so the majority of these shipments are earmarked for developing countries overseas. What this means for Greg Aziz and company is that the work of producing these rail cars is very important for the quality of life for many people thousands of miles away. Go To This Page for additional reads.
The rail transport would begin at the mines where the raw product first comes from, ending up most of time at Port Moody BC where it would be loaded onto container ships destined for international ports. On the other side of the ocean where these other ports are, rail transport is also used, in cars that Gregory J Aziz and company may very well have made, to get the product to its final destinations.
This supply chain makes two very good points. One, important shipments such as this take time. Even when the modes of transport are substantially larger than the average. Secondly, and on a more personal level, that line of 150+ rail cars pulled by 5 engines may be zipping past you at a high rate of speed. But know that what you see in the short time you see it is just a drop in the bucket compared to the entire trip they are making.
It may be a 5 or ten-minute inconvenience to you, but Gregory James Aziz can assure you of one thing. Many more people would be “inconvenienced” even more if that potash shipment did not make it to its final destination.