CN, CPR and Norfolk Southern announce agreement to improve freight service between eastern Canada and US

by Canadian Shipper

CN, Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) and Norfolk Southern Railway (NSR) have announced an agreement that will significantly improve freight service between Eastern Canada and the Eastern United States, say the companies.

The three-party arrangement will give CN and NSR a seamless, direct north-south routing over CPR’s lines south of Montreal that will slice as much as two days’ transit time off some 20,000 annual shipments. It will also increase freight traffic density and revenues on CPR’s wholly owned subsidiary, the Delaware and Hudson Railway.

“This three-railroad agreement will benefit both customers and railroads. First, it will offer CN’s existing merchandise carload customers in Quebec and the Maritimes quicker access to important consuming markets in the Eastern United States. And second, it will enable the participating railroads to improve the utilization of their networks and locomotive and car fleets," said E. Hunter Harrison, president and chief executive officer of CN

Implementation is scheduled to begin Nov. 19, 2004. CN-NSR traffic destined for the Eastern U.S. will move in CPR trains on CPR’s line between Rouses Point, N.Y., and Saratoga Springs, under a freight haulage arrangement between CPR and NSR. This CN-NSR traffic will then move in NSR trains over CPR’s line between Saratoga Springs and the NSR connection near Harrisburg, Pa., under a trackage rights agreement between CPR and NSR. The new agreement will cut 330 miles off the current routing used by CN and NSR, which sees freight traffic handled more circuitously through the Buffalo, N.Y., gateway.

“We continue to identify and implement efficiencies benefiting shippers throughout North America. This agreement demonstrates our commitment to aggressively pursue opportunities to improve service," said David R. Goode, chairman and chief executive officer of NSR.

“This is an important initiative that takes costs out of the rail industry by placing freight traffic on the most efficient routing without regard to ownership. It also creates a significant source of new earnings for our Delaware and Hudson subsidiary and is another major milestone in improving the profitability and value of this part of our network," said Rob Ritchie, president and chief executive officer of CPR.

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