Posts Tagged ‘Canadian National’

Canadian Two for Tuesday

January 11, 2022

We’re going north of the border into Ontario for a two for Tuesday feature. Better warm up those vocal cords before you start singing O Canada.

In the top image Paul Woodring and I were at Bayview Junction, Ontario, in July 1980 when I photographed VIA Rail Canada 6530 heading east to Toronto, as it meets a Canadian National freight.

In the bottom image A Toronto GO Transit commuter train is eastbound on March 23, 1982, Cabin D in Toronto.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Can You Wash Locomotives, too?

December 30, 2021

I was driving in Clifton, Illinois, a small town located on the Chicago Subdivision of Canadian National, when I spotted this car wash located right next to a spur leading to a grain elevator complex. I was a little surprised at how close the business was to the track even if this line may be used sparingly. It also led me to wonder if a crew could wash its locomotive here. Probably not but it’s fun to think of the possibilities. A bay for locomotives could easily be added on to the building.

Fund Wants CN to Delay Naming New CEO

December 28, 2021

A hedge fund seeking to take control of top management of Canadian National wants the Montreal-based Class 1 to delay naming a replacement for its retiring CEO until after a shareholder meeting next March.

TCI Fund Management has put forth a slate of four nominees for seats on the CN board of directors who will be voted upon during the March 22 meeting.

However, TCI’s preferred choice to become CEO, Jim Vena, recently withdrew his name from consideration.

Current CEO J.J. Ruest plans to retire in January after a new CEO is named.

TCI has been critical of CN management this year for its handling of an unsuccessful effort to acquire Kansas City Southern.

That bid collapsed in the face of opposition from the U.S. Transportation Board.

CN rival Canadian Pacific was subsequently able to reach agreement to acquire KCS.

The two expect to merge next year pending approval by the STB.

Watco Gets STB OK to Acquire Lines From CN

December 21, 2021

Short line operator Watco has gained approval by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to acquire hundreds of miles of former Wisconsin Central track in Ontario, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Watco plans to incorporate the track into its Grand Elk Railroad and a new railroad to be named Fox Valley & Lake Superior.

The track, which is being purchased from Canadian National, includes the former Algoma Central in Ontario and various branch lines in Michigan and Wisconsin once operated by WC.

Watco has indicated that it already has equipment and personnel in place to begin operating the routes once the acquisition gained regulatory approval.

The STB earlier this year had delayed the transaction after hearing concerns from some shippers. Those concerns have since been addressed, Watco officials said.

 “The Board received numerous comments supporting the transactions and numerous comments opposing it,” the STB wrote in a decision allowing the sale to go forth. “After careful consideration of all comments received, the Board finds that the issues raised do not demonstrate regulation is necessary to carry out the rail transportation policy and that it is appropriate to allow Watco to proceed with the exemption process.”

CN Expects to Name New CEO in January

December 21, 2021

Canadian National indicated this week it expects to name a new CEO next month.

The Montreal-based Class 1 railroad is working with consulting firm Korn Ferry to review potential suitors for the job.

The new CEO will replace J.J. Ruest who this past October announced his retirement plans. Ruest plans to step down after a new CEO is named.

One candidate who will not be considered for the CN CEO position is Jim Vena, a former Union Pacific executive who had been pushed for the position by an activist investment firm that is seeking to oust the current CN management team

Vena, who had been supported by TCI Fund Management, informed the CN search committee reviewing CEO candidate that he is no longer interested in the position.

Vena had interviewed several times with the committee for the post. In addition to his work for UP, Vena also once worked as a CN manager, including serving as chief operating officer. He held the same position at UP until January 2021.

CN Signs Contract With Google Cloud

December 16, 2021

Canadian National has signed a seven-year contract with Google Cloud to modernize the Class 1 railroad’s technology infrastructure.

In a news release, CN said the partnership will involve “digital scheduled railroading” while also providing better connectivity and collaboration with customers and supply chain partners.

Once developed, CN expects the platform to improve planning, shipping, tracking and payment.

CSX, CN Make A List for Environmental Leadership

December 8, 2021

CSX and Canadian National have received an A rating for leadership in environmental sustainability.

This includes moves to cut emissions, mitigate climate risks and help develop a low-carbon economy.

The list is compiled by a non-profit group known as CDP and was based on answers to a questionnaire.

In a news release, CN said that since 1993 it has reduced its locomotive emission intensity by 43 percent, thus avoiding over 48 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

CDP awarded 200 companies an A rating of the 11,759 worldwide companies scored this year on their climate change efforts and disclosures.

Steam Saturday: Cab Ride North of the Border

November 27, 2021

Bob Farkas and Paul Woodring were in Toronto on June 19, 1980, where they visited the Canadian National Spadina engine facility. Not only were they able to make photographs of CN 4-8-2 No. 6060 they also got a cab ride.

The 6060 was one of 20 Mountain type locomotives built by Montreal Locomotive Works for CN in 1944.

Retired in 1960, the 6060 was placed on static display in Jasper, Alberta. Restored to operating condition in 1972, the 6060 saw excursion duties for CN through the 1980s.

It has since operated at times and is now awaiting another restoration pending adequate funding.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

CSX, CN Added to Dow Jones Sustainability List

November 18, 2021

CSX and Canadian National have been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index for 2021.

It is the 11th  consecutive year for CSX to make the list and the 13th consecutive year for CN, which was also included on the DJS World Index.

The index represents the top 20 percent of North America’s 600 largest companies as evaluated by S&P Global that demonstrate sustainability initiatives. The sustainability assessment evaluated the economic, environmental and social criteria for meeting index designation.

In a news release, CSX said its goals included reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 37.3 percent between 2014 and 2030, which it said accomplished by reducing emissions intensity by 6 percent to 8 percent in 2020, achieving 8.1 percent emissions intensity reduction and reaching the goal two years ahead of time.

CN said its goals included reducing Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent per million gross ton miles and reduce Scope 3 GHG emissions from fuel- and energy-related activities 40 percent per million gross ton miles by 2030 from a 2019 base year.

It also sought an interim 6 percent intensity-based reduction in locomotive GHG emissions by 2022 from a 2017 base year, sought to reduce criteria air contaminants intensity by 6 percent by 2022 from a 2017 base year; and to eliminate serious injuries and fatalities from the workplace and reduce train accidents.

In the Hole at South Tolono

November 17, 2021

A crew member of a southbound Canadian National manifest freight is on the ground to give a roll by inspection to a northbound at South Tolono on the Champaign Subdivision.

During the days when Illinois Central removed the double track in favor of centralized traffic control and passing sidings every so many miles, the control points were named north and south after the nearest city or town. CN has retained the former IC control point names.

Hence South Tolono refers to Tolono, Illinois, where the IC crossed the Wabash line from Detroit. The ex-Wabash is now the Lafayette District of Norfolk Southern.