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Moving coal through your community

​​​​​​Coal.jpgWe work closely with our customers to efficiently, reliably and safely move metallurgical coal from mines in southeastern British Columbia to export terminals at the Port of Vancouver.

When CP moves coal, we follow strict requirements from all levels of government and work closely with environmental and safety regulators to ensure the safe transport of coal from collection facilities to export hubs.

Coal is not considered a dangerous or hazardous material by Transport Canada and is safely handled by thousands of workers every day. The safety of the communities we operate in is incredibly important to us and as transportation and coal handling technology improves, we upgrade accordingly to ensure we move coal in the safest, most efficient way. 

​​​​Protecting your community from coal dusting

Coal is brittle in nature so it may shift and fall apart when it is being moved. Any coal residue escaping from a rail car is called coal dusting. 

Over the years, we have taken a number of steps to address concerns about coal dust such as incorporating different dust minimizing loading techniques and implementing slow train movement orders during the spring, summer and fall months. 

To prevent coal coming out of rail cars during transport, coal trains are also sprayed with an environmentally benign glue-like polymer en route from the mines to export facilities -- first at the mines, and then again at our Tappen, BC re-spray facility. This reduces the chances of the coal shifting.​

Sparwood, BC - Coal Spray pilot project  

For many years, freight trains shipping metallurgical (steel-making) coal have been treated with a sealant that prevents the product from shifting, which prevents dusting.

About the pilot project:

In summer 2020, CP and Teck Resources piloted a new acrylic latex sealant at a location near Sparwood, B.C. CP and Teck Resources will continue the pilot project this summer.  CP and Teck Resources will further assess the results in the fall of 2021 following the test period.

How the spraying works:

The new sealant is an acrylic latex product that is diluted with water. It forms a crust on top of the coal in each car to prevent the product from shifting, which prevents dusting. The sprayer is active only when a loaded coal train is present.  

 Questions about coal and your community?


Contact our CP Community Connect team at:


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