CN Rail is reporting grain movement is starting to pick up across the prairies.

CN's assistant vice-president of grain David Przednowek says rail car demand has ramped up over the last few weeks.

"We shipped almost 700,000 tons of grain and processed grain products last week , 685. So we've seen that tonnage steadily increase here over the past number of weeks. Week 6 was just under 600,000 tons and we've seen those numbers grow. So week 9 has definitely been the biggest week so far to date this crop year."

He notes there's been some maintenance work that's being done not on the CN line but on the directional running zone, that has impacted fluidity in and out of the Port of Vancouver.

Przednowek adds that CN also released it's Winter Rail Plan which details the action items that CN is taking to mitigate the impact of winter operating conditions.

"Winter is winter, minus 40 is minus 40 and that's going to have an impact on any aspect of the supply chain all the way from the country,  all the way to export destination. But it really goes through the resources that CN has in place and the actions that we can take to mitigate and work around some of the winter extremes."

A key focus included in their plan is their vigorous hiring and recruiting program.

He says they've really had a big hiring push on as work on bringing in hundreds of people to accommodate the changes in the Federal Government's labour rules,  work-rest rules, to federally regulated transportation sick days and more.

You can listen to Glenda-Lee's conversation with CN's assistant vice-president of grain David Przednowek by clicking on the link below.

CN's Winter Rail Plan is available on their website.