Railroad News

CN to rebuild Steen River rail bridge

CN will rebuild the rail bridge over the Steen River in Alberta, with Imperial Oil and Suncor contributing funds to the reconstruction, the Class I announced yesterday.

The approaches on both ends of the 360-foot bridge will be rebuilt with concrete and steel and the bridge deck of the steel span across the river will be replaced. Construction should be completed by mid-August, CN officials said in a press release.

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CN hires Trent to oversee Class I's 'digital transformation'

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 7/16/2019 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image CN has hired David Trent, a global information technology leader with more than 20 years of experience, to serve as chief digital officer and help the Class I modernize its scheduled railroad model.In his new role, Trent will be responsible for building a "digitally agile organization" and working with business and operational leaders to drive improved performance and customer experience, CN officials said in a press release.Most recently, Trent was vice president of technology and digital at Canfor Corp., where he spearheaded the company's digital transformation, CN officials said."David's proven track record in creating value for the business and transforming an organization towards digitization is mission-critical as we modernize our operations," said CN President and Chief Executive Officer JJ Ruest. "Through cost efficiencies, asset utilization and superior customer experience, CN’s new chief digital officer will drive long-term value creation for our customers and shareholders.”Trent will be based in Montreal and begin his new job Aug. 19. He will report to Michael Foster, CN's executive vice president and chief information and technology officer.

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CN's grain traffic maintained record pace in June

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 7/2/2019 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image Western Canadian grain movements were at high ebb through 11 months of the 2018-19 crop year.Photo – CN

CN today announced its western Canadian grain movements in June exceeded 2.3 million metric tons (MMT) compared with 1.99 MMT in June 2018.

The cumulative tonnage moved by the railroad through 11 months of the 2018-19 crop year was on record pace at 25.5 MMT — 1 million tons ahead of the previous record-setting pace — despite the restrictions on Canadian exports to China, CN officials said in a press release. The three-year average of grain movements per month is 1.80 MMT.

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Teamsters rail traffic controllers ratify new CN contract

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 6/18/2019 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image CN announced late last week that the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference Rail Canada Traffic Controllers has ratified a new four-year agreement with the Class I.Retroactive to Jan. 1, 2019, the contract provides for wages and benefits improvements for 180 rail traffic controllers in Canada."We are pleased that, along with furthering long term labor stability, this agreement demonstrates once again that our team of skilled railroaders, whether management or union, are working together toward mutually satisfying solutions," said CN President and Chief Executive Officer JJ Ruest in a press release.CN and the union reached a tentative agreement in May.

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CN marks 100th year in business

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 6/10/2019 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image Founded by an act of Parliament in Canada on June 6, 1919, CN evolved from a federal crown corporation for 75 years to a private railroad company in 1995.Photo – CN

CN officially marked its 100th anniversary last week.

Founded by an act of Parliament in Canada on June 6, 1919, CN evolved from a federal crown corporation for 75 years to a private railroad company in 1995. The Class I spans North America, from eastern to western Canada and the Gulf of Mexico.

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CN, Hutchison Ports to develop new container terminal

The Quebec Port Authority (QPA) yesterday announced the signing of a long-term commercial agreement with Hutchison Ports and CN to build and operate a new container terminal known as project Laurentia.

The CA$775 million project will be financed through the joint investment of all three partners. In addition, the QPA is in discussions with federal and provincial governments to complete the financing, according to a QPA press release.

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CN recognized for supply chain contributions

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 5/28/2019 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image CN has received the Supply Chain Management Association's (SCMA) first Nation Builder award, the organizations announced last week.The award commemorates the association's 100th anniversary and recognizes the historical significance and future importance of building supply chains to Canada, according to a CN/SCMA press release.SCMA chose CN for its "unrivaled legacy of economic and innovative contributions to building Canada's supply chain infrastructure," said Christian Buhagiar, the association's president and chief executive officer.This year also marks CN's 100th anniversary, noted CN President and CEO JJ Ruest."While we are proud of the company's heritage, our focus is on the future of the supply chain and how we can play an active role in moving Canada's natural resources and our customers' goods to market safely and efficiently," he said. "We are focusing on investing in infrastructure, technology and solutions to increase our role in Canadian supply chain and across our international markets."The award will be presented Thursday during the 2019 National Conference and Fellow Awards Gala in Montreal.

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CN recognizes customers for hazmat safety

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 5/22/2019 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image CN today announced 137 companies received its Safe Handling Award for 2018.Launched in 1992, the award recognizes CN customers that load freight cars with hazardous goods and meet strict standards for safely handling and shipping regulated products. Award winners must meet established criteria according to the total number of shipments of dangerous goods for all facilities."Safety is a core value at CN and we are working closely with our customers to deliver their goods safely and efficiently. With this award, CN wants to recognize its clients who make the safe handling of dangerous goods a top priority," said James Cairns, CN's senior vice president of rail centric supply chain, in a press release.The award is part of the Responsible Care® Program, an ongoing performance improvement initiative in which CN is a partner in Canada and the United States.

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CN announces executive team changes

CN today announced Rob Reilly will become executive vice president and chief operating officer and Michael Foster will be promoted to EVP and chief information and technology officer as of July 1.

Reilly has 30 years of experience in the rail industry, starting in 1989 when he joined the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Co., now known as BNSF Railway Co. His industry experience includes a succession of increasingly senior positions in markets across the United States, most notably in Chicago and on the West Coast.

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From the editor: CN — a century of railroad progress and change

By Pat Foran, Editor

Happiest of birthdays to CN, which will turn 100 next month, as managing editor Jeff Stagl reports in this month’s cover story. While the Class I’s leaders are reflecting on a century’s worth of progress, they’re also focused on the road ahead, as my colleague reports. They say they’re committed to delivering on the better-service promise and driving top-line growth.

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CN, Teamsters OK tentative pact for rail traffic controllers

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 5/16/2019 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image CN has reached a tentative agreement wit the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference covering 180 rail traffic controllers in Canada, the Class I announced yesterday.Details of the agreement will not be made public until after the contract is ratified, which is expected by early June, CN officials said in a press release.“With this tentative agreement covering our rail traffic controllers, we are pleased to conclude another negotiation furthering long-term labor stability,” said CN President and Chief Executive Officer JJ Ruest. "We are committed to working together with our railroaders and their representatives in a mutually beneficial manner.”

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CN at 100: Innovations, efficiencies to propel the railroad during its next century in business

Over the past century, the Class I has grown into a transportation services provider with about 27,000 employees and a 20,000 route-mile network in Canada and mid-America.Photo – CN

By Jeff Stagl, Managing Editor

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Unifor Council 4000 ratifies three CN agreements

CN announced last week that union members have ratified three of four tentative agreements reached between CN and Unifor Council 4000 negotiators in March.

The three ratified agreements, reached prior to their expiration, cover 2,000 CN railroaders in Canada, including all clerks and intermodal workers, excavator-operators, as well as conductors and locomotive engineers working on the SAR internal short line in northern Alberta, Canada, according to a CN press release.

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CN expands service in western Canada, agrees to acquire H&R Transport

CN is expanding its operations in western Canada with two additional major export supply chain projects, the Class I announced yesterday.

Both projects are focused on maximizing the use of rail into the Port of Prince Rupert in British Columbia. The first train of thermal coal from Coalspur Mines Ltd.'s Vista Mine in Hinton, Alberta, has shipped to Ridley Terminals. CN is also delivering the first unit train of propane from Alberta for export via the new AltaGas Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal, according to a CN press release.

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CN retains Pace as chair, assigns CEO Ruest and others to board

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 5/2/2019 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image (From left) Chairman Robert Pace and CEO Jean-Jacques RuestPhoto – CN

CN yesterday announced Robert Pace was unanimously re-elected by its board as chairman.

He is president and chief executive officer of The Pace Group Ltd., a Halifax-based company that's engaged in radio broadcasting, real estate and environmental services. Pace, who became CN's chair in 2014, also is chairman of the Walter Gordon Foundation, and a board member for the Atlantic Salmon Federation and Asia Pacific Corp.

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CN weathers historical cold temps in Q1 to set revenue, traffic records

By Jeff Stagl, Managing Editor

Despite extreme and prolonged cold temperatures that prompted shorter trains in portions of the first quarter, CN registered solid financial results with strong top-line growth in the period, the Class I reported yesterday.

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CN offers mobile app for truckers at intermodal terminals

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 4/29/2019 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image The app is available for truckers arriving at CN terminals in Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta, and in Toronto.Photo – cn.ca

CN is now offering a mobile app for trucking companies that use certain CN intermodal terminals in Canada.

Known as ModalPass, the mobile app is aimed at making navigating CN intermodal terminals faster for trucking partners, according to the Class I’s website.

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CN announces capex projects for Mississippi, Kentucky

Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN 4/22/2019 Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN
image CN has budgeted $45 million in capital expenditures for its rail infrastructure network in Mississippi and $16 million in Kentucky this year, the Class I announced last week.In Mississippi, CN intends to replace 8 miles of rail, install 75,000 new ties, rebuild 20 road crossings and perform other maintenance work on bridges, culverts and signal systems and other track infrastructure.CN has spent more than $370 million in the past five years on its infrastructure in Mississippi.Meanwhile, in Kentucky, CN has plans to install more than 30,000 new ties and perform maintenance on bridges, culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure. Over the past five years, CN has invested more than $50 million on capital expenditure projects in the state.This year's Kentucky and Mississippi infrastructure projects are part of the railroad's 2019 record $2.9 billion capital investment focused on enabling growth from all its commodity segments, CN officials said in a press release.

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CN launches pilot project using electric trucks

CN has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with The Lion Electric Co. for the concept, design and manufacturing of electric trucks as part of the Class I's strategy to reduce emissions.

Terms of the MOU were not disclosed.

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CN to appeal Canadian agency's ruling on freight-rail service

CN will appeal a Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) ruling issued yesterday that determined the Class I had breached its freight-rail service obligations last year in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The CTA found that CN violated its service obligations by announcing its intention to impose embargoes on wood pulp shipments in September 2018, several months before rail congestion and other challenges emerged in the Vancouver area. The Class I imposed those embargoes in December 2018, "rather than making every reasonable effort to deal with those challenges before unilaterally restricting the transportation of the shippers' traffic," according to a CTA press release.

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