News Wire: CN officials say they're overcoming capacity pinch-points

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  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • From: Wisconsin
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Posted by Brian Schmidt on Thursday, December 07, 2017 8:41 AM

NEW YORK — Canadian National is in a better position to handle a growing North American economy because it continued investing in infrastructure during the traffic downturn last year, its chief financial officer says. CN is capacity-constraine...

Brian Schmidt, Associate Editor Trains Magazine

  • Member since
    December, 2006
  • 1,152 posts
Posted by diningcar on Friday, December 08, 2017 12:05 PM

Given Fred Frailey's very recent submissions as a passenger on a premium train it appears that CN is somewhat late in anticipating their needs and now it is winter.

  • Member since
    March, 2013
  • 711 posts
Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Friday, December 08, 2017 12:17 PM

CN is just as congested right now as we were from 2012 to 2014, when oil prices were high and business was booming.  The company could have continued adding double track and making other upgrades during the slowdown after mid-2015, to prepare for a surge of business we on the ground knew would return in a few years, but instead the decision was made to cut back, cut costs and lay off employees.  

Now the boom is back, and all those new hires from 2014 who were laid off right away refused to come back when recalled, having gotten other jobs in the 2 years of being laid off from CN.

If capital investments had continued to be made during the slowdown CN would still be fluid today.  And bitterly cold temperatures haven't even arrived yet this year...

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

  • Member since
    December, 2007
  • From: Southeast Michigan
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Posted by Norm48327 on Friday, December 08, 2017 4:26 PM

I don't know if it is now a pinch point but sometime between the 1993 and 2000 track charts I have access to CN/GTW decided to "rationalize" and eliminate a long section of track from about Bancroft, MI to near East Lansing. When they did so, it was rational, but I feel they weren't looking to the future of possible traffic increases. The Flint Sub seems to be doing reasonably well these days with only six miles of double track through and west of Durand. There is also a long section of single track between Lapeer and Port Huron so the former may not present a problem. Not being involved in operqtions I can only guess what the results of single tracking that section may have been.

IMO, sometimes waiting economic conditions out without making major changes can be beneficial.


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