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Canadian rail upgrading boosts grain-export edge

Canada's massive long-range commitment to modernizing its rail services is increasing the country's competitive edge with the United States in world grain markets, an Agriculture Department analysis says.

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At the heart of the program, aimed at eliminating two decades of Canadian problems in grain transport, is the abolition of antiquated and ''inadequate'' rail rates for moving grain out of the prairie provinces to western Canada, the report said.

''These improvements helped Canada to achieve two successive years of record grain exports - 1981-82 and 1982-83 - and a third record is likely this year,'' the report said. After the United States, Canada is the second-largest wheat exporter and the largest exporter of barley, which competes with US corn and sorghum.

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