CN has renamed its underwater railroad tunnel between Canada and the U.S. the Paul M. Tellier Tunnel. Opened in 1995 as the St. Clair Tunnel, it runs under the St. Clair River between Sarnia, Ont., and Port Huron, Mich.
The Paul M. Tellier Tunnel is 1,868 metres long. Its 8.4-metre interior diameter can accommodate doublestack container trains, multi-level auto carriers and other large rail cars and payloads.
Tellier, CN president and chief executive officer from 1992 to 2002, envisioned the St. Clair Tunnel as a vital rail link in international commerce between Canada and the U.S., the world’s largest trading partners.
“Renaming the tunnel is especially fitting because Paul Tellier realized his vision for CN as a truly North American transportation company by completing the tunnel and successfully extending the railroad’s reach into the U.S.," said E. Hunter Harrison, who succeeded Tellier as CN president and chief executive officer.
During Tellier’s tenure, CN acquired the Illinois Central and Wisconsin Central railroads in the U.S. When tunnel construction began in 1993, Tellier said that the “tunnel will give CN the efficiencies it needs to become a strong competitive force in North American transportation.”
Last year, transborder traffic, of which a substantial amount passed through the tunnel, generated 34 per cent of CN’s total revenue of $5,884 million.
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