CN and CPR announce new network initiatives

by Canadian Shipper

CN and Canadian Pacific Railway have reached agreement on three new network initiatives the companies say will improve railway transit times and asset utilization in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.

“With these new arrangements, CN and CPR are unlocking efficient ways of improving service, increasing track capacity and maximizing utilization of railway infrastructure. These agreements are clear wins for our respective customers and shareholders," said E. Hunter Harrison, president and chief executive officer of CN.

"These initiatives are the product of an extensive review that showed opportunities in eastern and western Canada for quick improvements in the utilization of railway infrastructure. Along with our Port of Vancouver agreements to make rail operations more efficient for port freight traffic, these new initiatives again demonstrate that the highly competitive railway industry can work in a spirit of co-operation to respond to shipper needs," said Robert Ritchie, CPR’s president and chief executive officer.

The latest initiatives provide for a slot-sharing arrangement allowing CPR to move eight trains a week of bulk commodities over CN’s line between Edmonton and CPR’s network at Coho, B.C., near Kamloops, a distance of about 550 miles.

Under the arrangement, which has been tested for the past several months by the railways, trains are equipped with CPR locomotives and operated by CN crews. At Coho, CPR trains enter already-established directional running trackage that sees all westbound trains of both railways move through the Fraser Valley on CN’s line and all eastbound trains move on CPR’s line.

There will also be directional running over about 100 miles of parallel CPR and CN track in Ontario between Waterfall, near Sudbury, and Parry Sound. The two railways will operate eastbound trains over the CN line and westbound trains over CPR’s line, improving network fluidity in this corridor.

A haulage arrangement is in place with CN freight moving over about 300 miles of CPR track in Ontario between Thunder Bay and a junction with CN at Franz using CPR’s route north of Lake Superior. This arrangement will permit the rationalization of about 200 miles of CN secondary track in Ontario between Thunder Bay and Longlac, say the railways. CN will maintain transportation service to affected shippers.

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