Unit Freight Trains
By 2010 traffic essentially consists of unit freight trains. Grain from the prairie
provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and potash from Saskatchewan
is hauled west to the port of Vancouver. Goods arriving at the port of Vancouver
from the Pacific Rim are hauled to market in eastern Canada and the United
States by unit container trains. Forest products from British Columbia are also
sent east not only the markets in Eastern Canada but also to markets in the
Mixed trains haul, among other goods, petroleum products west from Alberta and
automobiles east from Japan and Korea.
In addition, coal from southeastern British Columbia is hauled to a staging yard
south of Golden and then west on the Canadian Pacific’s main line to the port of
Vancouver where it is shipped to the Pacific Rim.
A container train from the port at
Vancouver heads east passed the west
portal of the Macdonald Tunnel in
route to the Connaught Tunnel. East-
bound trains, often empty grain,
potash or coal unit trains, use the
higher Connaught Tunnel while west-
bound trains, usually loaded, use the
lower Macdonald Tunnel.