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CPR Acquiring 600 High-Capacity Freight Cars for Lumber Shippers.

Canadian Pacific Railway (TSX/NYSE: CP) will acquire 600 high-capacity freight cars for lumber products shippers by mid- July, swelling its fleet for North America's robust and service-sensitive lumber market by close to 30 per cent. Value of the order was not disclosed.

The 73-ft. "riserless" lumber cars are being manufactured at The Greenbrier Companies' TrentonWorks facility in Trenton, Nova Scotia, at the rate of about 45 cars a week. As they are delivered, CPR will purge from its fleet some 300 older, less productive lumber cars that are leased on a short- term but higher cost basis.

The move will increase CPR's fleet of cars to 2,650, its largest fleet ever of high-capacity centrebeam cars for lumber customers.

"Lumber manufacturers desperately need more car capacity and we are moving quickly to meet their demand with the highest capacity cars available," Rob Ritchie, President and Chief Executive Officer of CPR, said. "With our expanded fleet, extensive transload network and scheduled operations, CPR will provide lumber shippers service levels that will help them capitalize on opportunities in their end markets while expanding our own growth potential."

Through its transload network, CPR uses trucks to collect lumber in production areas where there is no direct access to the railway, and brings them to rail loading facilities on its mainline. The service makes rail available to lumber shippers, regardless of their location. Transload operators also consolidate different sizes and grades of lumber from different mills into carload shipments for retailers and wholesalers.

The new cars, the lightest of their kind, can be loaded to 286,000 lbs. They have impact cushioning devices that reduce the chance of product damage. The car deck is flat, with the load-bearing risers having been eliminated. The risers were used to create the gap required for forklifts to be inserted under the wood product bundles. Instead, lumber manufacturers prefer to attach their own risers to the individual bundles.

"We are working with shippers and connecting railways to minimize any delays in unloading freight cars and getting them back into productive service," Mr. Ritchie said. "Faster turnaround will put more car capacity into the system for a lumber industry that can use everything the rail industry can provide."

Canadian Pacific Railway, recognized internationally for its scheduled railway operations, is a transcontinental carrier operating in Canada and the U.S. Its 14,000-mile rail network serves the principal centers of Canada, from Montreal to Vancouver, and the U.S. Northeast and Midwest regions. CPR feeds directly into America's heartland from the East and West coasts. Alliances with other carriers extend its market reach throughout the U.S. and into Mexico. For more information, visit CPR's website at

CONTACT: Media, Len Cocolicchio, Tel.: (403) 319-7591,; Investment Community, Paul Bell, Vice-President, Investor Relations, Tel.: (403) 319-3591,
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 27, 2003
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