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Canadian Pacific to transport giant transformers from Minnesota port to Alberta

Canadian Pacific will soon transport 16 giant electrical transformers, each measuring 10.3 m in length, 4.3 m in width and 5.2 m in height, and weighing 325 tons to Alberta, Canada for a large power transmission line project.  

It is the first time for CP to have committed to taking on as many pieces of oversize equipment, let alone transporting them in a condensed time period, as it has for customer Fracht USA.

The load needed to travel almost 2,000 km from the Port of Duluth, Minnesota to four points in Alberta. According to Fracht USA, all 16 transformers needed to be transported in a six-month period between October 2013 and March 2014 to comply with the construction schedule for the power line, which will run from north of Edmonton to south of Calgary.

Pulling such a specialised move together requires three to six months of designing a proper train configuration.

CP divided the Fracht USA moves into four special trains carrying either two or four transformers. Similar to premium intermodal trains, the special trains have priority along the network, and any other trains that meet up with them must move onto a siding to be passed.

Two of the trains have already reached their destinations within the planned seven-day transit time. Another one is scheduled to depart just before or after Christmas and the last one is to leave in late January or February, depending on the weather.

The upcoming departures will incorporate two new 16-axle cars owned by Fracht USA, designed to accommodate heavy and wide equipment.

The company previously offloaded the transformers from ships and is responsible for storing them in a warehouse until they’re transported by rail.

Source: Progressive Railroading