Canada to review national railway freight service

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 7 Mon Apr 7, 2008 1:51pm EDT

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 7 (Reuters) - Canada launched a review on Monday of the country's railroad freight service, which is dominated by the Canadian National (CNR.TO) and Canadian Pacific (CP.TO) railways.

The review, expected to take more than a year to complete, could result in new regulations on the carriers, but will also examine how much blame shippers and terminal operators will share for service problems, Transport Canada said.

CN and CP have enjoyed a booming business in recent years, but some shippers groups, particularly grain shippers, say service levels have deteriorated even as rail rates have climbed.

A yet-to-be-appointed three-member panel will review data collected on the railway operations over the next year and will recommend changes to Federal Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon, the government said. (Reporting Allan Dowd; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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