CN shares plan for winter operations

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by Emily Atkins

CN has published its plan for winter operations in 2022 and 2023.

The plan sets out the measures the railway will introduce to ensure it has the capacity and resources to maintain operations in cold winter weather.

The measures introduced include adding staff and new locomotives, along with new rail cars and monitoring technology.

The plan “reviews core aspects of CN’s operations: how safety and greater efficiency work together; how we plan with customers to deliver service during winter on a sector-by-sector basis; how we invest to improve productivity; and, how we mobilize people and resources to enhance the resilience of our network. The steps outlined in this plan will help ensure a more efficient and resilient CN network and an increasingly reliable and resilient supply chain,” said Tracy Robinson, chief executive officer of CN.

CN’s overall employee count increased by 850 people as of the end of June, compared to the the beginning of the year, primarily in operating crew ranks. Five hundred additional new conductors will graduate through the end of 2022. Rail operating managers who are rules-qualified will be available to protect rail traffic movement and support operations during challenging winter operating conditions.

The railway has acquired an incremental 57 high-horsepower locomotives. This brings CN’s inventory of high- and mid-horsepower locomotives to approximately 1,950 locomotives.

Eight hundred new boxcars will be delivered in early 2023, and 500 high-efficiency hopper cars will be delivered during the 2022–23 crop year.

CN has implemented scheduled slots for bulk unit trains in key corridors to increase rail capacity and velocity.

Acoustic bearing detectors deployed at five locations across the network will reduce failures online. CN’s third-generation automated track inspection program fleet cars were launched in advance of this winter, reducing risks of rail-related incidents.