Posts Tagged ‘Canadian National’

No Injuries in CN, SEPTA Derailments

September 30, 2022

No injuries were reported in derailments of Canadian National and SEPTA commuter trains.

The CN derailment occurred at 7:30 a.m. in Warren, Michigan, a suburban of Detroit and involved 12 cars leaving the rails.

The derailment snarled traffic during the morning rush hour.

News reports indicated that three of the derailed cars were tank cars carrying liquid chlorine and unrefined alcohol but they remained upright.

One of the cars was reporting to be leaking slightly but emergency officials said this did not pose a public hazard.

The train had 151 cars. Officials said the cleanup could last several days and traffic will continue to be disrupted.

Bus service on two routes was disrupted after a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority train derailed late Wednesday morning as the train left the Trenton (New Jersey) Transportation Center.

The second and third cars of the four-car train bound for Philadelphia left the rails.

The train had 25 passengers aboard. New Jersey Transit Northeast Corridor trains to Trenton were also affected by the derailment and were experiencing delays of up to an hour.

SEPTA suspended service between Philadelphia and Trenton while the train was re-railed and removed.

Five trains were cancelled and service issues continued into Thursday morning with trains cancelled in each direction. Other trains were delayed up to 10 minutes.

CN Reports 2nd Quarter Financial Records

July 27, 2022

Canadian National reported on Tuesday that its second quarter 2022 performance included record revenue and a record operating income.

In a news release, CN said adjusted diluted earnings per share were a record C$1.93, up 30 percent.

CN said its operational performance improved in key operating metrics such as origin train performance, car velocity, through dwell and record fuel efficiency, resulting in a lower operating ratio.

The news release said revenue was C$4,344 million, an increase of C$746 million or 21 percent

The operating income of C$1,769 million rose 28 percent, and record adjusted operating income of C$1,781 million was an increase of 29 percent.

The operating ratio, defined as operating expenses as a percentage of revenues, was 59.3 percent, an improvement of 2.3-points, and adjusted operating ratio of 59.0 percent, an improvement of 2.6-points.

All percentage changes are comparisons with the second quarter of 2021.

The Montreal-based carrier said it expects approximately a 15-20 percent adjusted diluted earnings per share growth in 2022 while seeking an operating ratio below 60 percent.

CN attributed its higher revenues in the second quarter to higher fuel surcharge rates, freight rate increases, higher Canadian export volumes of coal via west coast ports, higher volumes of U.S. grain and the positive translation impact of a weaker Canadian dollar; partly offset by significantly lower export volumes of Canadian grain.

During an earnings call CN CEO Tracy Robinson said the railroad is performing at its highest levels in five years.

“We’ve leaned in to our scheduled operations, improving train performance and service to customers. And we’re seeing the beginning of improvements in velocity,” Robinson said.

CN executives said during the call that the carrier has hired 850 conductors since the end of 2021.

During the quarter CN said it handled record traffic levels in the U.S., thanks partly to a rise in export grain and coal shipments due to the war in Ukraine.

More information is available at https://www.cn.ca/en/news/2022/07/cn-reports-second-quarter-results/

CN to Spend $485M on Michigan Projects

July 8, 2022

Canadian National has announced it will spend $485 million on capital projects in eight states during 2022.

No projects are planned for Ohio or Indiana, but the Montreal-based Class 1 carrier plans to spend $55 million in Michigan.

That work includes replacement of more than 4 miles of rail; installation of approximately 50,000 new railroad ties; rebuilding 19 road crossing surfaces; and maintenance work on bridges, crossings, culverts, signal systems and other track infrastructure

In all CN plans to spend more than C$2.6 billion on its capital program systemwide.

Sweeping Through Broom Town

July 1, 2022

Arcola, Illinois, likes to describe itself as “broom town.” That’s because back in the 1920s the area was known for the production of broom corn which led to Arcola being a center for the manufacturing of brooms.

Every year the town of 3,000 population celebrates is broom corn heritage with an annual festival.

Arcola is bisected the mainline of the Chicago-New Orleans route of the Illinois Central Railroad, now owned by Canadian National.

On a Saturday morning a pair of bicyclists watch as a northbound CN manifest freight passes through town.

CSX, CN Call Off Sale of Canadian Route

June 14, 2022

The sale of a CSX line to Canada to Canadian National has been called off.

The line between Montreal and Syracuse, New York, was to have been merged into CN’s Bessemer & Lake subsidiary.

Although the sale received approval from the U.S. Surface Transportation Board in April 2020, regulators also imposed a number of conditions on the sale that the two Class 1 railroads were unwilling to accept or able to work around.

Chief among them was a requirement that a clause CSX had insisted upon in the sale agreement that CN would be unable to negotiate direct interchange agreements with the Finger Lakes Railway and the New York, Susquehanna & Western in the Syracuse region.

The STB twice extended the deadline for CSX and CN to reach a new sale agreement but they were unable to do so and asked the STB to reconsider their original deal.

Regulators refused and CN sued the STB in federal court in April 2021. With the sale now having been called off, CN has sought and received approval from the court to dismiss its lawsuit.

CN Returns Standard Cab Units to Mainline Duty

June 10, 2022

Some standard cab locomotives have been returned to mainline service by Canadian National  after being sidelined or assigned to captive service since early 2021, Trains magazine reported this week on its website.

Some other units, including idled wide cab units, also have returned to service or are being prepared for a return as part of the railroad’s fall and winter surge fleet.

Most of the 134 GE C-40-8 units CN acquired between 2010 and 2012 have been parked or retired since 2020.

The Dash 8s are not expected to be mainstays on CN for long. The Trains report can be read at https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/news-photos-canadian-national-returns-dash-8-locomotives-to-service/

CN Buys New Wabtec Dispatching System

June 7, 2022

Canadian National is the first customers to buy a new dispatching system created by Pittsburgh-based Wabtec Corporation.

In a news release, Wabtec described the dispatching system as a major step toward network automation for CN and the entire rail industry.

CN plans to use the dispatching system across its 20,000-mile network on 37 dispatching desks.

The system is expected to be phased into operation through late 2023.

Wabtec officials said the system will enable CN to increase capacity and improve efficiency and safety.

The dispatching system analyzes data coming from all rolling stock and wayside device assets and positive train control, Wabtec said.

With this information, the system provides advanced automation through end-to-end electronic delivery of mandatory directives and automatic implementation of authorities in dark territory.

Bruder Elected Chairman of CN Board

May 23, 2022

Shauneen Bruder has been elected as chairman of the board of directors of Canadian National.

She previously served as  executive vice president of operations at the Royal Bank of Canada until retiring in October 2019.

Bruder has been a CN director since 2017. As CN chairman, Bruuder succeeds Robert Pace.

The board also elected as new directors David Freeman, Robert Knight and Susan Jones. Re-elected to the board were Jo-ann dePass Olsovsky, Denise Gray, Justin Howell, Kevin Lynch, Margaret McKenzie, Robert Phillips, and CN President and CEO Tracy Robinson.

The board is seeking a francophone — or someone who speaks French — who would be a Quebec-based director. CN has hired a Montreal search firm to help recruit that candidate.

CN Going Back to Basics

May 19, 2022

Canadian National CEO Tracy Robinson told an investor’s conference this week that the carrier is taking a back-to-basics approach to operations.

Speaking to the Bank of America 29th Annual Transportation Conference, she said CN is emphasizing that that trains depart from yards on on time and with the right blocks of cars.

“As we bring the schedule together, it means every car has a plan, every block has a plan, every train has a plan, the meets are all scheduled. And every customer has a plan, including the local service delivery. As we do this, we’re seeing it’s starting to work,” Robinson said.

The goal of this is to increase network speed and improve service to shippers.

Robinson said traffic flows remain different than they were before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although CN is actively seeking new business, Robinson said the railroad is more tightly coordinating its operations, marketing, and finance functions to ensure that it can handle any new business it takes on.

“You need to be intentional about that, and to build our book in such a way that we can deliver to our customers,” she said. “We want to be able to deliver what we sell.”

A story about Robinson’s speech can be read at https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/canadian-national-launches-new-focus-on-operations/

New CN CEO Outlines Priorities

April 29, 2022

Canadian National CEO Tracy Robinson is now two months into her tenure as head of the Montreal-based railroad and has spent much of that time getting to know the system, including its workers and shippers.

During an earnings conference call with investors this week she laid out her priorities for CN. It was her first public comment since taking over as CEO on Feb. 28.

The first priority Robinson mentioned was focusing on improving velocity. At the same time CN needs to make more efficient use locomotives, cars and crews.

Robinson also spoke of better fitting its network to its strengths, tightening coordination between operations and marketing to ensure CN is able to deliver on its commitments to customers, and investing for growth and efficiency.

“We all know what this network and what this team is capable of doing,” Robinson said. “It’s not a matter of is it operating ratio or is it growth. I think it’s both.”

During the earning call Robinson announced that Doug MacDonald, currently CN’s senior vice president of special projects, was promoted to chief marketing officer.

Robinson replaced the retiring J.J. Ruest at CN. She worked for 27 years at Canadian Pacific and most recently was an executive for pipeline company TC Energy.