Another sign that production is about to begin at the K+S Potash Canada (KSPC) Legacy site was the arrival of the first 177 custom built rail cars on March 13, 2017. The rail cars will be stored at KSPC’s own industrial rail yard and will support commissioning in preparation for the beginning of production, scheduled to occur in the second quarter of this year.
The rail cars are among 531 manufactured by National Steel Car (NSC) of Hamilton, Ont., and will be used to ship potash to KSPC’s port facility in Port Moody, B.C. The balance of the rail cars were scheduled to be shipped to site by end of March 2017.
Karen Koziki, Senior Specialist, Logistics and Transportation at KSPC in Vancouver, says CP stored the cars at one of its Saskatchewan rail yards before delivering them to the Legacy site via their new, 30-km Belle Plaine subdivision. The Belle Plaine subdivision links CP’s main line at Belle Plaine to the KSPC’s 14-km industrial line. “Via CP’s main line, KSPC now has access to the port terminal in Western Canada, as well as to domestic markets,” says Koziki.
While KSPC employees at the Legacy site’s loadout and shipping areas become accustomed to using their new equipment and procedures, Heather Pollock will be refining her skills with a computer program that connects the Legacy mine site to the global network operated by parent company K+S in Germany. Pollock, Shipping Coordinator for KSPC at the Legacy site, says the program ties the mine’s loading systems into the K+S sales department. Once production is underway, she will complete a waybill when the rail cars are loaded with product and the program will automatically transmit that information to CP. “It will basically tell them there’s a trainload ready for transport to port,” says Pollock. She adds KSPC is working closely with CP to coordinate operations.
On December 1, 2016, CP organized a tour of its Belle Plaine spur line for Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure officials as well as guests from KSPC. Attendees travelled by road and rail in a “High Railer” bus to observe one of the largest earth-moving projects in Western Canada, just before it was completed.