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Key metrics

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ These measures represent only some of the indicators of railroad performance. Readers are therefore cautioned not to rely solely on this information as an indication of CP’s overall performance, financial or otherwise, as it may be misleading when viewed in isolation.​

Revision to Employee Counts

Starting in 1Q 2016, CP will be amending its definition of "Employees."  CP's prior employee definition reflected only full-time employees who had worked more than 40 hours in a pay period; as our business continues to change and evolve, the company has determined that a better and more fulsome definition should capture all employees regardless of the number of hours worked. 

A spreadsheet summarizing the impact to CP's historical employee counts can be found here

The definition of workforce – the metric most commonly referenced by management – remains unchanged.

  • Previous definition - Employee: ​An employee is defined as an individual, including trainees, who has worked more than 40 hours in a standard biweekly pay period. This excludes part time employees, contractors, and consultants.
  • New definition - Employee: An employee is defined as an individual currently engaged in full-time or part-time employment with CP.
  • Workforce: Workforce is defined as employees plus contractors and consultants.​

Starting in Q2 2014, CP made the following two changes to the presentation of its income statement:

1. New revenue breakout
To provide the investment community with better visibility into CP’s revenue drivers we have broken out our existing lines of business into more detail:

  • Grain has been split into Canadian Grain and US Grain
  • Fertilizers and Sulphur has been split into Potash and Fertilizers & Sulphur
  • Industrial Products has been split into Crude; Chemicals & Plastics;  Metals, Minerals & Consumer Products
  • Intermodal has been split into Domestic Intermodal and International Intermodal
  • Coal, Forest Products, and Automotive remain unchanged

2. Expense reclassification
Billings to third parties for the recovery of costs incurred for freight car repairs and servicing have been reclassified from “Purchased services and other” to “​Compensation and benefits” and “Materials” in order to match the billings with the costs incurred on behalf of the third parties. Total operating expenses are unchanged as a result of this reclassification.

A spreadsheet showing the impact of these changes on our historical results can be downloaded here​ 

CP reports carload data on a weekly basis to the Association of American Railroads (AAR). The links below contain the data provided to the AAR as well as the same data re​organized to reflect the line of business categories used by CP for financial reporting purposes. ​​​​​​​​​​​​

​​Weekly carlo​​​ads​
(reported to AAR)

Weekly carloads & RT​M's
(reported by line​​​ of business)

2014 2014
2013 2013
2012 2012
2011 2011
2010 2010
2009 2009

Effective September 1, 2013 CP has updated its definitions for terminal dwell and train speed to better reflect operational changes and performance. As a result of these updates, CP’s performance measures will not be directly comparable to the metrics reported by other Class 1 railroads and will no longer be posted on the AAR’s website. Key performance measures will still be posted to CP’s website on a weekly basis.

Perfor​mance Measures

Key Performance Measures​​
Historical Data – Terminal ​​Dwell
Historical Data – Train Speed

CP uses the following definitions:

Train Speed

Train Speed measures the line-haul movement from origin to destination. The average speed is calculated by dividing train-miles by total hours operated, excluding yard and local trains, passenger trains, maintenance of way trains. System-wide average train speeds are given for the following train types:

  • Intermodal
  • Manifest
  • Multilevel
  • Coal Unit
  • Grain Unit
  • All trains

Terminal Dwell (Hours)

Terminal Dwell is the average time a car resides within terminal boundaries expressed in hours. The measurement begins with a customer release, received interchange, or train arrival event and ends with a customer placement (actual or constructive), delivered or offered in interchange, or train departure event. This will exclude stored, bad ordered, and maintenance of way cars.

Cars on line

Cars On Line is the average of the daily on-line inventory of freight cars. Articulated cars are counted as a single unit. Cars on private tracks (e.g., at a customer's facility) are counted on the last railroad on which they were located. Maintenance of way cars are excluded.

Cars on Line figures are reported by car type for the following car types:

  • Box -> A,B,R
  • Covered Hopper -> C
  • Gondola -> E,G
  • Intermodal -> P,Q,S
  • Tank -> T
  • Open Top Hopper -> H,J,K
  • Other -> L, F

and by car ownership:

  • System Car:Owned by the railroad on which it is located
  • Foreign RR: Owned by a railroad other than the one on which it is located
  • Private: Owned by a non-railroad (i.e., has a car initial that ends in "X") and not leased to a railroad