A joint venture of MAM and THTC Virtual Museum of Canada
Photo of Grain Elevator
1850 to 1914 Exhibit 1914 to 1945 Exhibit 1945 to Present Exhibit
Read the Grain System Evolution Story
Prairie Networks Past & Present: Grain Transportation in Western Canada


Box Car A closed rail car used for hauling freight
Branch Line A subsidiary, secondary, local, or feeder line of railway
Bulk Cargo Commodities moved in large volumes in an unpackaged, loose form.
Bulker A ship designed for transportation of dry bulk cargo.
Canada Grain Act The Act covers aspects of Canada's grain industry including: the grading system and setting of grain standards; elevator operations and transactions as grain moves to port; elevator licensing; and the empowerment of the Canadian Grain Commission.
Canadian Transport Commission A semi-judicial body set up by the federal government to regulate all modes of transportation
Cereal grain Wheat, oats , barley, rye, trititacle
Country Elevator the small, historic, "standard" elevators in the countryside
Crow Rate Federally imposed artificially low freight rates on grain or flour moving from any point on any rail line pursuant to Statutes of Canada 1897
Cycle time Time for a railcar to move from loading point to port and back
Demurrage Penalty charges for the delay of a ship beyond a specified time
Grain Blockade see text on page 3 with picture 1 in the "Grain Evolution, Historical Evolution of the System" section.
Grain Door A partition placed across an opening in the side of a rail box car to prevent grain from leaking out.
Grain Exchange An exchange operates as a mechanism for trade and an institution with the authority to enforce contracts.
Herd Law Laws to prevent cattle from destroying grain and other crops
High Troughput/ Inland Terminal A large, efficient modern elevator serving a large catchment area and capable of moving a high volume of grain from farm truck unloading to loading in a unit train
Hopper Car A railcar with a dumper in its floor.
Laker A boat specially designed to operate in inland waters.
Logistics Chain A series of inter-related handling and transportation activities that allow a commodity to move from point-of-origin to point-of-consumption
Manitoba Grain Act An Act passed July 1900 to regulate railways and elevators in the interest of the grain growers.
National Policy see text on page 1 with picture 2 in the "Grain Evolution, Historical Evolution of the System" section.
Pacific Scandal Sir Hugh Allen, president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, provided campaign money to the Conservative Party in 1872 and was rewarded by a contract to build the Pacific railway.
Salty An ocean-going ship
Self-unloader A ship with a built-in conveyer system for the discharge of cargo without the use of shore-based equipment.
Spot, Spotting To spot a rail car, is to deliver it to a specific loading point.
Territorial Grain Growers Association An association established by farmers in 1901 in Saskatchewan because dissatisfaction with the handling of that year’s bumper crop; it was the precursor to other farm lobby groups.
Unit Train Trains of great length providing single-product, non-stop service in one direction to a major terminal.
Wharfage A charge for handling cargo on a wharf and vessel docking charges.
Wheat Board A federal agency formed in1935 and charged with marketing Canadian wheat, oats and barley intended for human consumption and exported.
Wheat Pools Farmer-owner grain-handling co-operatives founded to collectively market wheat.
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