Railroad News

Rail technology: CN ups the automation ante

CN deployed its first new-generation ATIP car in the third quarter on lines south of Chicago.Photo – CN

By Jeff Stagl, Managing Editor

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CN's James Street swing bridge reopens after long legal battle

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 11/12/2019 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image The CN-owned James Street swing bridge in Thunder Bay, Ontario, reopened Nov. 9 to motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic after being closed for more than six years following a fire.The bridge connects Thunder Bay and Fort William First Nation across the Kaministiquia River. It closed after a fire broke out on the northern approach spans on Oct. 29, 2013. Train traffic reopened later that week, but the bridge remained closed to motorists and pedestrians since that time.“CN is pleased that the bridge is reopening and that this important road link in Thunder Bay is once again accessible to the public,” said Olivier Chouc, CN's vice president of law, in a press release.The bridge's driving lane remains unchanged. The speed limit across the bridge will be maintained at about 12 mph, with a load carrying restriction of 33,000 pounds.A lengthy legal battle over the bridge's repair and maintenance issues occurred following the fire. The city of Thunder Bay and Fort William First Nation argued that a 1906 agreement over the bridge's construction required the railroad to maintain it in perpetuity. CN countered that it had fulfilled its obligations and the bridge no longer met modern standards and would require more substantial work than just maintenance, according to a CBC news report.The case ended up in the Supreme Court of Canada, which rejected CN's appeal from a lower court. In the end, the courts required CN to uphold its obligation to repair and reopen the bridge to all vehicles under the 1906 agreement, Thunder Bay city officials said in a press release.The bridge repairs required widening of the city's roadway approaches. That work was completed within CN's construction schedule timeline so that the bridge could now reopen to traffic, city officials said.“We are pleased to see this important connection between Thunder Bay and Fort William First Nation finally reopened,” said Thunder Bay Mayor Bill Mauro. “We recognize the challenges and frustrations citizens from both communities have faced without this access point. CN, as directed by the highest court in Ontario, has fulfilled their obligation to repair the bridge and we can now move forward as more connected communities."

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CN logged record grain shipments in October

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 11/6/2019 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image CN's western Canadian grain movements broke another record in October, with shipments of 2.8 million metric tons (MMT) of grain and processed grain products, the Class I announced yesterday.The company's previous record was set in April, CN officials said in a press release.This fall has been plagued with cold and wet weather, which has negatively affected the pace of grain deliveries, "leaving rail capacity significantly under-utilized," they said. But despite harvest delays and international trade restrictions, CN has moved 6.7 MMT so far this year.“We are all part of the same supply chain, and as a railway CN fully understands the impacts that weather can have on the end-to-end supply chain,” said Allen Foster, vice president of bulk at CN. “Investment at every step of the supply chain — from producers and grain companies to CN’s investment in new hopper cars, increased network capacity, and a more modern locomotive fleet — all played a role in delivering a record month.”

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CN serves new Saskatchewan intermodal terminal

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 11/5/2019 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image Canada's first privately operated, state-of-the-art intermodal terminal has opened in the Chuka Creek Business Park in Regina, Saskatchewan, CN announced on its website.CN serves the terminal, which is located on a 32-acre site and is owned and operated by MobilGrain, Saskatchewan's largest short line.In addition to CN service, the terminal provides direct rail/truck transfer, two-rail mounted cantilever gantry cranes, storage capacity of 2,000 20-foot-equivalent units, space to handle 120 chassis, two separate in/out lanes for fluidity, GPS positions for containers and an automated gate system.

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Teamsters members consider November strike against CN

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 10/30/2019 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) members at CN could go on strike by Nov. 19, the labor union announced earlier this week.Last month, about 3,000 CN conductors and train and yard personnel voted 99.2 percent in favor of a strike. The union will provide CN at least 72 hours notice before taking any strike action, TCRC officials said in a press release.A legally mandated conciliation period ended Oct. 25. The union and CN have been in negotiations for six months and have been working with federal mediators for the past four months.The previous collective agreement between the parties expired July 23.The next round of talks with CN and federal mediators is set for Nov. 12, TCRC officials said.

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