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MAY 20, 2021

CN Moves Wind Energy Components Across North America.

As the world continues its transition to a lower carbon economy, CN is proud to play a critical role in moving the clean economy by providing sustainable transportation solutions to move sustainable goods. One of the areas where CN has been making tremendous strides is in the transportation of wind turbine components.

Wind is North America’s #1 renewable and zero-emission source of electricity generation, reducing U.S. and Canadian carbon emissions every year by more than 132 million metric tons, which is the equivalent to eliminating the emissions from 28.1 million cars. In Canada, there are almost 7,000 wind turbines across 307 wind farms producing power and the US has more than 60,000 wind turbines nation wide.

Gaston-Riquero Photo

CN is proud to move components (including tower sections, blades, hubs, and nacelles) to support the installation of new wind farms, as well as the components to update and keep turbines in action. Over 2019 and 2020, CN moved more than 3,300 turbine components, which helped enable almost 2,000 wind turbines to be in service across Canada and the United States. We have also moved over, 8,500 single wind turbine units to date since 2016.

Moving these units to their end destination is a complex process as wind turbine components are incredibly large and also uniquely shaped. Turbine blades for example can measure over 200 feet long by 12 feet wide and 16 feet high, and, like most wind energy components, are moved in full unit trains varying from 30 to 75 railcars per train. Moving over-sized equipment like this in railroading terms is called a “Dimensional Load” which requires due diligence as well strong planning.

From proper loading to lashing security, as well as inspections, the CN team works to ensure that every aspect of this move is completed safely. This also includes the measurement of all clearances from origin to destination, where every curve, bridge, and tunnel is analyzed to ensure that they can accommodate the dimensions of these products safely.

By moving wind turbine sections by rail, we provide our customers reliability and cost savings, especially for long distance routes. Pairing this kind of product with the greener aspects of rail for transportation (railroads being approximately 4 times more fuel efficient than trucks) simply makes sense. The result is the ideal solution to support the development of wind farms across North America as well as to meet the global demand for clean energy.

To learn more about shipping wind turbines as well as to arrange the shipment of other dimensional loads, please email a CN sales representative here :