Expectations for moving extra grain unrealistic: CN president

The president of Canadian National Railway says it was unrealistic to expect anyone to move a bumper harvest of grain in just a few months.

CN President Claude Mongeau says company not responsible for transportation bottleneck

Western Canadian farmers harvested a record amount of grain in 2013 but much of it hasn't moved. The federal government introduced legislation to force rail companies to double the amount of grain they move or face fines. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

The president of Canadian National Railway says it was unrealistic to expect anyone to move a bumper harvest of grain in just a few months.

Claude Mongeau told the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce that his company isn't responsible for a transportation bottleneck that has left farmers' bins overflowing.

He said CN moved a record number of cars before the extreme cold hit in December.

He also said blaming rail companies will not solve the grain backlog.

Western Canadian farmers harvested a record 76 million tonnes of grain last year, but much of it hasn't moved.

Ottawa is forcing rail companies to double the amount of grain they move or face fines.